What to Expect When Hiring a Family Law Attorney 

Hiring a family law attorney can be expensive, so make sure you find a qualified and suitable one. While some charge for the first meeting, many offer consultations at no cost. Most lawyers report that these initial consultations last at least 30 minutes. Whether you hire an hourly-rate attorney or a retainer-based attorney, you’ll want to know exactly what they charge for their time. Find out in this article what to expect when hiring a family law attorney.

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Hiring a family law attorney can be a smart investment. You will get an experienced professional who knows the tricks of the trade and will work to your advantage, ultimately resulting in a better outcome for you and your children. Aside from the experience of a family law attorney, you’ll also save money in some cases, especially in those with thousands of dollars at stake. In addition to this, attorneys charge by the minute, which means that treating an attorney like a friend could cost you a fortune. It might be better to spend the money on a counselor, instead. 

It is difficult to predict how much your family law attorney will charge. Most attorneys won’t tell you upfront how much their fees will be, but they can give you a range. Many lawyers charge for the first meeting, while others offer free consultations. Even if they offer a free consultation, most attorneys report that their initial meeting takes about half an hour. That doesn’t mean that hiring a family law attorney is a good idea if you can’t afford to lose your marriage over money. 


Retainers for family law attorneys are a standard form of payment that many lawyers require from their clients. This upfront payment serves an important purpose – it reassures the attorney that he or she will be paid when the case is resolved. Retainers are usually in the range of $3,500 to $10,000 and are held in a trust account until the attorney’s services have been rendered. To ensure fairness, retainers should be disclosed in the initial consultation. 

Retainer fees may include court costs and administrative expenses. Sometimes, they may include only fees. In some cases, a retainer fee may be refundable if the attorney is not able to resolve the case. However, you should check with your attorney before signing any agreement. The court has the authority to rule on whether a retainer fee is unreasonable. If you feel unsure, don’t be afraid to ask questions. 

Hourly rate 

When hiring a family law attorney, you’ll need to determine what you’re willing to pay upfront. Although attorneys usually charge a reasonable hourly rate, you should be wary of attorneys who charge by the hour. It’s difficult to estimate the cost of a case at the beginning, but your attorney will be able to give you a ballpark figure once they know more about your situation. Fortunately, many attorneys will offer free consultations. 

While the average hourly rate of a Family Law Attorney ranges from $32 to $44, it can be much higher. A Family Law Attorney’s salary is dependent on their level of experience, location, and skill. The top-earning attorneys earn more than $140,000 a year. The hourly rate of family law attorneys varies greatly across the country, and can vary by up to $39,000! The cost of living in each area is also a factor in determining the hourly rate. 


A prospective client’s initial consultation with a family law attorney should depend on their circumstances and the stage of the divorce process. Some will just be seeking advice on child custody or separation. Others will be seeking guidance in a more contentious matter, such as divorce. In either case, experience is key. Listed below are some characteristics of experienced family law attorneys. Read on to find out how to determine their experience. In addition, remember that attorneys often charge a flat fee, and other expenses may apply, such as court filing fees, expert witness costs, and expenses of other attorneys who will be working on your case. 

A family law attorney’s experience can be critical to the outcome of the case. Generally, a lawyer with experience in family law has worked with clients in similar situations. However, there is no one-size-fits-all type of case, and a lawyer should be experienced in many areas to be successful in the practice. In addition to the legal experience and knowledge, an attorney should have some experience with mediation, drafting and negotiating agreements, as well as handling disputes.