Porchlight recently introduced a flat fee pricing model for our traditional family law services. Flat fee pricing (as opposed to hourly rates or attorney retainers) can provide significant benefits to clients.
Managing Financial Expectations. With flat fees, clients know what to expect and can plan accordingly. Clients know from the very beginning of the attorney-client relationship how much their case will cost, and whether they can afford to hire a particular law firm. Sometimes, with traditional billing methods (ex: hourly rates), clients can run out of money during their case and then the attorney is no longer able to represent them. Flat fees help avoid this issue.
Aligning Goals. Flat fee pricing also helps better align goals in the attorney-client relationship. With hourly billing, clients may feel like their attorney is perhaps spending more time than necessary on an issue, just to drive the cost of the case. (Even if the attorney is being ethical in his or her billing). With flat fees, clients know exactly what they are paying, no matter how many hours an attorney spends on the case. Additionally, flat fees incentivize attorneys to work more efficiently and keep cases moving forward through the justice system.
Easing Stress. Litigating a family law case can be stressful and demanding. What makes matters worse is when you are not exactly sure how much the total fees will be. Many family law firms ask for a retainer and then charge hourly rates, without telling clients how much the case will ultimately cost or how much the clients will pay each month. While some attorneys will tell you that is impossible to predict total costs, with flat fees, it is possible to predict the cost of a case. This predictability can help ease some of the stress associated with litigation.
At Porchlight, we offer flat fees in both contested and uncontested cases. These fees are custom – we use the information learned during the intake and consultation process to calculate a fee specific to your legal matter. Each client receives his or her custom flat fee quote at their consult. For smaller cases and uncontested cases, our firm charges one flat fee for the entire matter. For more complex cases, the fee is broken down into four separate payments spread out over the stages of the case: 1) case initiation and mediation, 2) temporary hearing, 3) discovery, and 4) final trial or late settlement. Clients only pay for the stages that their case goes through, and if they reach a settlement before the next stage (meaning their case is over), no more fees are due. Most family law cases will not go through all four case stages.
Our firm offers flat fees because we believe it is what our clients deserve. Flat fee pricing allows clients to resolve their case, often at a lower cost, while still providing predictability in finances and timetables. For more information about Porchlight’s flat fee rates, or to schedule a family law consultation, call (678) 435-9069 or click here.