Alternative Fee Arrangements Offer Flexibility During Divorce

Most adults would agree that the number one argument in a marriage involves personal finance. If not resolved, disagreements over money can weaken a marriage to the point where divorce is the unfortunate outcome. In some case, bankruptcy can follow or precede the divorce.

The end of a marriage is often very bleak and depressing. If there are children involved, it can make the situation even more stressful and confusing.

When going through a divorce, having options available for alternative fee arrangements can be a welcome relief to both parties, especially since often there is no contingency plan for how expenses from the divorce will be covered.

There are two standard alternative fee arrangements: flat fee and hourly. A flat free contract is simply one amount for services rendered, and it is non-refundable. With this payment option, it is understood exactly how much is paid and for what amount of service. These fees can be high because they are intended to cover all services, but at the moment they are paid, it is unknown exactly what services will be required.

For the hourly contract, a retainer fee is due up front, and then services are paid for by the hour. As time goes on, if the divorce is complicated or takes longer than expected, the total cost with an hourly rate may be higher than the flat fee, but the total is not due up front.

The alternative fee arrangement is designed to be an a la carte solution. First a flat fee is paid to cover services that are anticipated and can be predicted beforehand. Once those are covered, the client gets to pick and choose which services to pay going forward.

Alternative fee arrangements allow clients going through a divorce to choose a plan that suits their particular needs; this affords some convenience during an otherwise tumultuous time.

Nathan Williams is a Brunswick divorce attorney in Southeast Georgia. Visit or call 1.912.264.0848.

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