During a divorce, it’s quite natural to be cognizant of money matters. You’re not only looking to secure your financial future, you’re also wondering what the divorce itself will cost. Most lawyers bill only by the hour. In other words, clients pay for the time the lawyer spends on the work, rather than paying for a project or specific task. Although it has been the primary method of billing for legal services for many years, hourly billing frequently causes tension and distrust between the lawyer and the client. This can especially be the case with divorce, since unknown factors can add time, and hence, cost, to the settlement.
Recognizing that clients are obviously focused on getting a task completed, and would like for it to be done at a reasonable price in a reasonable amount of time, some lawyers have moved to more “value-based” billing. The lawyer and client reach an agreement that the lawyer will perform a certain task for a specific fee which client will pay. If the agreed upon fee “feels fair” to both sides, then it doesn’t matter what the billable hours would have been. Both parties have received the benefit of the bargain they negotiated, and both knew what they would pay and what would be received.
This kind of value billing is rarely done in divorce or family law matters because they are generally unpredictable-either client, either lawyer, family of either client, or other “shadow advisors” can cause a divorce to go in any number of unexpected, and time-consuming, directions. Hance Law Group, however, is among a small number of progressive family lawyers around the country offering value pricing where possible. It assures clients that the concerns most important to them will be protected without their having to worry about the time and costs involved, as with hourly billing. This is something to be discussed in the initial meeting with the lawyer. In some matters, a value pricing arrangement can be created at the initial meeting; in others, it could be created later when the direction of the matter has become more clear; and in others, it will not be possible because of the circumstances of the matter.
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