When on the hunt for a child support lawyer to suit your needs, you’ll notice that many lawyers offer their services at a multitude of price brackets, so you’re probably left wondering how you can find the best price. What’s an average price, and what sort of services will be included in what you’re paying, and what factors affect the total cost? In today’s guide, we’re going to explore the nine factors you need to be thinking about.
1. The Type of Dispute
The cost you’re paying will heavily depend on the type of custody battle you’re in. If it’s an uncontested case, you won’t spend as much time in the courtroom, and won’t need to pay as much. On the other hand, contested cases tend to require court representation and can last several months, meaning you’ll need to pay more.
2. How Difficult Your Case Is
Of course, if your preferred lawyer sees your case as an easy and simple case with few complications, they won’t need to charge so much because they’ll be working with you less. On the other hand, if there’s a lot of difficulties to address, this will make the case run longer, and therefore they’ll charge more.
3. The Court Fees
When you attend court, you’ll need to pay court fees. Again, if you’re in an uncontested case, you’ll be in court less, so will pay less and vice versa. Depending on the court, you may also need to pay for record-keeping or the attendance of a law enforcement officer, such as a sheriff.
4. The Attorney Fees
The fees you need to pay your child support lawyer will vary dramatically, based on things like the attorney’s education, their standard fees, and the services they offer. Some may offer a free consultation meeting, while others will charge, for example. Mostly you’ll be paying your attorney hourly, which means you could pay anywhere between $500 and $100 per hour.
5. Travel Expenses
Some lawyers will require their travel expenses to be paid when attending either court or visiting you for meetings. Make sure you ask in advance whether you’re preferred lawyer charges for this, or else you could end up with a lot of hidden costs.
6. Paralegal/Admin Fees
Paralegals are essential in the process of many lawyers for filing and completing paperwork, and the cost of using a paralegal may be included in your final costs.
7. Expert Witnesses
If your case requires the help or testament of a professional, specialist, or expert witness, you may need to pay for their time. In a custody battle, you may need the review of a child psychologist, or someone similar, to give evidence. The more of these witnesses you use, the higher your costs will be.
8. The Lawyer’s Experience
As we mentioned above, the more experience and qualifications your lawyer has, the more they’re going to charge. For example, if they have a 90% win rate, they will charge more than someone with a 40% win rate. A lawyer’s reputation and testaments from past customers will usually also affect their prices.
9. Any Extra Misc Fees
There are a ton of miscellaneous fees you may need to consider in a custody dispute, so bear this in mind since some of them may not even come up until you reach a certain point in the case. As you discuss your case with your lawyer, ask them to tell you if there are any kinds of fees you can expect.
As you can see, there are a lot of factors to consider when it comes to defining the cost of a child support lawyer. Bear these in mind, and you’ll be able to see exactly why you’re being charged your rate, and what to look for when trying to find a more affordable price.