Is Your Family Law Attorney Over-Charging You?


A certain problem in divorce and family law is the bill charged by your lawyer. Family law is a type of law in which there is high likelihood that you can be overbilled by your attorney. They can rip you during the process. Over-billing is defined as when a lawyer charges you more than his or her legal or ethical fee. Divorce cases are highly emotional for the clients. They don’t pay special attention to lawyer’s charges. Clients are angry with their partners. In some cases they are scared. Some are depressed due to the change of circumstances. So it is quite natural that they are not thinking at their best possible cognitive ability. So that’s where a divorce attorney can take benefit of your vulnerability. You have to pay a high price for openly expression your emotions. If your attorney is charging you at per hour system, it is not regulated by the state. So you can be fooled by the lawyer.

You can see if the lawyer is efficient or not. For example, your lawyer should put his or her staff to work for trivial matters. Secretaries and other support staff charge less than a lawyer. So if your lawyer is doing all the work and has excluded the support staff, it is sure that you will be charged a higher rate. Some of the lawyers do everything themselves. They don’t have support staff. It is not a problem not to have a support staff. The problem is that it will ultimately increase your bill.

The lawyer cannot charge you a non-refundable deposit. If you end your relationship before the case ends, the attorney has to refund any part of your deposit that has not been billed for services yet. Normally an attorney will provide you a written retainer agreement that states that the services which are to be provided as well as the details of the agreement. Some lawyers charge flat fees for short and simple matters. But in most cases, which are a bit complex, you need to be asked to deposit a retainer. You will be billed on per hour basis. You also need to pay for the County Clerk or witness fee.

A lawyer can rob of your earning if he or she is not recording the time properly. Lawyers need to keep records of the time that is billed. The time is recorded immediately after a session. The problem starts if the lawyer records time relying on their memory. They may either record too little or too much. If it is too much, the cost will come out of your pocket. Lawyers need to send you bills on the 1st of every month. If she or he is not doing this, perhaps they are not accurately recording time.

Some lawyers edit old templates for lawsuits and settlement agreements. They should charge you for the time that is spent on editing but instead they charge you for preparing a brand new agreement and lawsuit template.

That’s the reason you should take utmost care while choosing an attorney. Lawyers at Petroske Law firm keep every transaction and billing method transparent. You can rest assure that you will not be overcharged. They respect your emotions.