It’s commonly believed that divorces and legal disputes always cost a lot of money. While they can be expensive, we believe they don’t have to be.
Your cost in legal fees depends on how much time and work our office needs to devote to your case. And that time commitment is primarily impacted by two things: 1) Degree of complexity and 2) Degree of conflict.
The more contentious and complicated the circumstances are, the more work and court appearances our office must cover, making the costs go up. The best way to keep costs down is to negotiate an agreement, compromise and generally avoid going to court.
To help meet your needs, we have various pricing arrangements depending on your goals and type of case:
- Full Representation: This is the standard, traditional arrangement billed on an hourly basis that covers every aspect of your case that an attorney can legally handle.
- Limited Scope: You are comfortable enough to do some of the work but may want an attorney for certain aspects of the case.
- Assistance only: You just want an attorney to discuss your case with, but you don’t need to be formally or legally represented.
This is the standard, traditional arrangement billed on an hourly basis that covers every aspect of your case that an attorney can legally handle.
This type of representation is best suited for high-conflict custody disputes, contested divorces (particularly those with significant assets), divorces of long-term marriages (10+ years), complex restraining orders, enforcement actions, trials, and other cases that involve more unique issues or difficult individuals.
Our office would legally be your attorney of record, making us available for everything from court appearances to drafting and filing legal documents of all types, to corresponding with the other side (or their lawyer) and advising you every step of the way.
With full representation, you are guaranteed the highest quality service and the most availability and access to our attorneys whenever needed.
A starting retainer or down payment is required prior to the starting of representation, in an amount that is worked out with each client per case.
For as long as we’re retained, we work to see your case through to a final resolution with the best possible outcome. Our hourly rates are generally as follows:
- Benjamin F. Kanani: $475/hr
- Associate Attorneys: $300/hr
- Law Clerks: $125/hr
Limited Scope/Flat Fee Arrangements
In some cases, you may feel comfortable doing some of the legal work yourself, but could use an attorney for certain things — for example, to be at your side at a court appearance or to review or revise certain paperwork before you file it.
In these situations, you can hire our office for what we call a “limited scope of services”, allowing us to help you and maybe even legally represent you for a set period of time or for a limited purpose.
Unlike full representation, your attorney would not be responsible for every aspect of your case. The benefit, however, is that since we can clearly define the amount of work we would perform, we can determine a single flat fee.
A flat fee payment arrangement does not work for all cases, and it’s important to clearly understand what your attorney will and will not handle. The scope must be discussed and written up in detail beforehand.
Common examples that work well for a flat fee structure include single appearances in court, overall case analyses, drafting/review of all legal paperwork (including complex motions to modify custody or support), restraining orders (without a divorce), settlement negotiations, and prenuptial agreements.
Depending on the complexity of your case, usually 50%-65% of the fee is paid up-front, with the remainder paid off in 1-2 additional payments over 30 to 60 days.
Each flat fee is ultimately custom-made to fit the specific circumstances of each case but to provide an example, most restraining orders fall within the price range of $2,500-$7,500 total.
This last option is for those who want to consult with an attorney regarding their case, but who do not need to be formally or legally represented.
This sort of representation can be utilized for almost any type of case or legal issue, so long as you understand that our office will be limited in what it can do and you are comfortable handling much of the work and are prepared to go to court without an attorney present.
Our attorneys would be available to answer questions, research legal issues, review and revise paperwork, help prepare you for court hearings, and assist with any other task you may wish.
The limitation is that, unlike the first two options, our office would not have its name or information anywhere on your legal documents or in the court record and would not legally be representing you. We would not communicate with the other side, the court or any third parties.
This is often the least expensive and most flexible option as it allows individuals to use a lawyer on an as-needed basis.
It is similar to pre-paying for attorney time and you would be billed hourly at our usual rate to utilize our attorneys. Although a starting retainer is still required, they usually cost less than those required with full representation.
Our attorneys can usually be available for phone consults within 24 hours and in-person meetings within 48 hours.