Flat Fees and Value Billing
The End of Hourly Billing
Edwards Family Law has implemented unique, customer friendly pricing for our legal services. The basic feature of our pricing is that we work carefully with our clients to arrive at a customized price for specific services. Prior to commencement of representation, our clients know the full extent of the legal resources that they will have to dedicate to their case. This serves to eliminate the extra stress that can result from not knowing how much the case will cost.
The Change to Value Pricing
We made the decision to change because we have come to realize that charging by the hour does not allow us to focus on the overall mission and results for the client.
In John Derrick’s book “Boo to Billable Hours,” he states “The [hourly] system rewards the plodding, inefficient lawyer and penalizes the skilled lawyer who completes a task quickly and efficiently. After over a decade of experience working with and for clients with family law issues, we believe that clients couldn’t care less about the amount of time the attorney spends on their case. Clients care about the service and results they receive. Our method of pricing allows us to focus on your case, rather than our bill.
- Clients are Not Misled. It is clear that with hourly billing, neither law firms nor clients can accurately predict what the final cost of a case might be. Hourly attorneys charging under the hourly billing method might ask for a retainer of $5,000, but the final cost of the case can end up ten times that amount.
- With the new system of flat fee and value pricing, all potential costs to the client are clear. This gives you the opportunity to better assess — at the outset of the case — if the matter is worth the resources that will have to be spent.
- Shift of Goals. With value billing, the focus shifts from time and procedures spent in hourly billing to achieving your mission and your results. These prices, along with the “caps” create strong incentive to the Edwards Family Law team to act with a clear mission in mind and to get results expeditiously and efficiently.
- The Cap. Edwards Family Law places a cap on the total amount of charges under the contract. The client will never receive a bill for services which is unexpected or beyond the amount set forth in the contract. If we underestimate the amount of work required, that should be our problem, not yours.
GUIDELINES TO HELP YOU ESTIMATE THE INITIAL PAYMENT REQUIRED
Here are the ranges of initial payments we require common to these matters. These are not retainers, but part of the flat fee. We charge flat fees which guarantee the firm’s willingness to be on call for your case. We also limit our caseload by number, so we are never too busy to handle your case. These are only guidelines and your case may be more or less, depending upon your specific facts and case history.
$1500 – $2500
Middle – Income Divorce with children and contested custody: $7,500 – $15,000
Middle – Income Divorce with children, contested custody and asset disputes: $8,500 – $15,000
Mid-asset case – marital estate from $200,000 up to $500,000: $10,000 – $25,000
High-asset case – marital estate over $500,000: $20,000 – $50,000
Modification of Child Support only $3,500-$7,500
Modification of Custody $7,500-$20,000
Legitimation with Custody $5,000-$7,500
TPO (Temporary Protective Order) $1,500