Family law attorneys face many unique challenges, some of which I have mentioned in past articles. But the “elephant in the room” that still needs to be addressed are attorney’s fees. In particular, I want to discuss why the fees charged by Florida family law attorneys are different from those of other attorneys. These are the three main forces that drive the way that family lawyers charge their fees and how AAA Family Law deals with them:
Family lawyers do not have a simple measure of the value of their service or standard service categories. This principle underlies all of all of the other factors. Family lawyers do not provide quantifiable services. We also do not have a menu of routine standard services to offer the way a typical automotive repair shop charges $19.99 for an oil change. No two divorces, paternity actions, relocations, etc., are the same. Some are much more complex than other and therefore, take more time. That is why the only measure we have left use for setting prices is how much time we spend on your case.
Florida family law attorneys cannot charge contingency-based fees. Over the last few decades, the general public has been bombarded with lawyer advertisements that scream “No fees unless you win!” This has led many of my potential clients to believe that I can offer them a plan for payment as a percent of their compensation. But the Florida Bar expressly prohibits family law attorneys from charging contingency fees. The policy reasons for this rule are beyond the scope of this article, but suffice to say, contingency fees are not an option for family law attorneys. And some family law cases, such as adoptions, prenuptial agreements and some injunctions, are not about one party paying the other. Continue Reading