You have enough on your plate when going through a divorce. Surprise bills from your divorce attorney should not be one of them. But that is exactly what happens with hourly billing models that most Georgia divorce lawyers use.
Most law firms will tell you that there is no way to predict what a divorce will cost. This isn’t true. While not all divorces cost the same, you should be able to get a specific quote based on your particular case.
Hourly billing has become the standard because it serves the attorney well — not because it is beneficial to clients. With hourly billing, attorneys get paid handsomely no matter what happens with your case and whether they are good or bad at their jobs. With custom flat fee billing, attorneys must be exceptional at their jobs to make the model cost effective. In custom flat fee billing, attorneys take on more risk. They must shoulder the cost of litigation, instead of shoving that risk onto their clients.
In hourly billing, clients have no idea how much their case will cost before it is over. Clients are often sucked in by modest initial retainers that cover only 10-15 hours of an attorney’s work. The initial relief of hiring an attorney soon turns into despair as clients see things like:
A custom flat fee eliminates these surprises and gives clients the security they deserve during the legal process.
Porchlight only works by custom flat fees — no matter how complex your case is. Based on years of experience, we can determine an appropriate custom fee for the specific facts of each case. This custom flat fee is unique to you and based on your needs and goals. You know what your case will cost before deciding to retain us for full representation. This gives you peace of mind and allows you to budget your money. It also gives you confidence that you know you will not be surprised by a big bill at the end of your case.
Predictability and Affordability. Yes, legal matters can be costly, but knowing the full cost ahead of time allows you to budget appropriately. In addition, by providing a custom quote, we can offer manageable payment plans, making it easier to afford legal representation.
Aligning Attorney and Client Interests. With hourly fees, the more an attorney works on your case, the more the attorney gets paid. While most attorneys do not intentionally overwork cases to get a higher fee from their client, the hourly model creates a mindset of inefficiency. Attorneys focus on hitting their billable hour minimums rather than providing the most effective representation for their client. With custom flat fees, attorneys are focused on the client’s needs—not how to bill more hours.
Avoid the Risk of Your Attorney Quitting. In hourly cases, if a client is unable to keep up with the bills, their attorney usually stops representing them. This leaves clients without legal representation at crucial points in their case, often facing trial or settlement negotiations alone. With custom flat fees, you know your attorney will be at your side the entire case.
Stronger Attorney-Client Relationships. Another drawback of hourly fees is that clients often try to minimize contact with their attorney to avoid racking up bills. This leaves clients feeling insecure about their case. It also makes our job much harder to do. After all, we need complete information to effectively represent you. Custom flat fees ensure the attorney-client lines of communication are open.
Better Legal Strategies. Legal strategies cost money. In hourly billing models, clients sometimes do not want to pursue a strategy because of the cost involved. Attorneys would agree not to pursue a strategy knowing the client could not afford, but that decision can put the client at a disadvantage. By quoting a custom flat fee for the entire case, attorneys can pursue the strategies they know are most effective for their clients, even if that strategy would be too expensive under an hourly model.
You deserve an excellent attorney who also respects your financial circumstances. Custom flat fees enable you to better afford a lawyer and have a better working relationship with your attorney. Custom flat fees allow you to focus on your case and moving forward with your life instead of worrying about mounting legal bills.
Contact us today for a Strategy Session to light the way for a successful resolution to your legal matter.
There are a lot of factors in a divorce case. Just like every divorce case is different, every case fee is different. We sympathize with attorneys who say you cannot quote a divorce case in advance—it is hard to do! Hard, but not impossible.
We created a proprietary formula to calculate a custom fee for each case. This formula is complex and based on studying our cases and fees over the years. We use the information you provide on your intake form and in our Divorce Strategy Session to calculate your fee.
We know you are probably eager to know the exact price, but we cannot provide it over the phone. Your fee will be based on your goals, your facts, and the legal path you want your case to take. We will work together in your Divorce Strategy Session to identify the lowest-conflict path that is practical for your case. We look forward to meeting with you and helping you through this difficult time.