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Fixed Attorney Fees for Colorado Divorce & Family Law


Summary:  You should agree to a system of fixed fees for specific tasks, rather than an hourly rate which is unlimited. Typical attorney fees are about $1,500 for most cases (plus out-of-pocket costs), up through a Temporary Order hearing. See below.


How to Save Thousands in Attorney Fees for a Typical Colorado Divorce Case

Your attorney should provide you with a fixed fee for each step in your divorce or other family law case.

A fixed fee gives your attorney some incentive to be efficient and cost-effective.

An hourly-rate fee agreement is merely an opportunity for your attorney to make more money by dragging the case out. The longer it takes, the more money the attorney makes. The typical divorce case costs thousands more than it should whenever the attorney is authorized to bill an unlimited number of hours.

However, if you want to tie up your attorney on a daily basis, then you may be paying on an hourly basis.  At least until you get the first month or two of attorney fee bills for thousands of dollars and you see what the cost is.

I have seen opposing counsel charge $11,000 by the time of the first status conference even though he had done nothing so far.  In contrast, my fee at that time was $700, which included the initial disclosures and the status conference.

Do the best you can to mediate or settle your case without going to a court trial.

Our Attorney Fees for a Typical Colorado Divorce Case

Usually a fixed fee for specific steps, as long as there are no related cases pending, such as domestic violence or dependency and neglect.

1. Typical Divorce Case Up to Permanent Orders (Through Temporary Orders if Needed)

Usual a fixed attorney fee of $1,500, plus out-of-pocket costs. Out-of-pocket costs include court filing cost, process server cost, electronic filing cost, and mandatory or discretionary mediator costs. The out-of-pocket costs typically run about $400-450. If you case is complicated by travel, other related court cases, or difficult maintenance or co-parenting disputes, the initial retainer could be higher. (This does not include Child & Family Investigator costs or other expert witness or professional costs.)

This work includes the initial status conference, attendance at mediation, and if necessary, preparation for and attendance at a temporary orders hearing (if it is needed.)

Your attorney should have an incentive to work efficiently and cooperatively with the other party and any other attorney on the case to try to resolve the case as early as is reasonable.

A fixed fee provides that incentive.

2. Divorce Permanent Orders

Usual a fixed fee of $1,500, if the scheduled hearing is not more than 4 hours. This includes court filings such as the Trial Management Certificate, Trial Brief (legal argument), and witness/exhibit lists and preparation. Exhibits are usually 100 to 200 pages.

Almost all cases are settled prior to the need to prepare for and attend a permanent orders hearing.


GIF The material on this web site is for informational purposes only. This law firm practices only in Colorado. An attorney-client relationship is established only when an agreement as to the scope of representation and fees has been signed and a retainer paid. Colorado law may consider these web site materials to be attorney advertising. GIF
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