Bivek, Brubaker & Prescott - Marietta family law and divorce attorneys

Cost of Divorce

Uncontested Divorce

At Bivek Brubaker & Prescott we believe in being as efficient as possible with our clients’ legal fees. To that end, we are pleased to offer flat fees, in addition to refundable retainers, for your uncontested divorce. A flat fee option gives the client the security to know in advance their total out-of-pocket cost without having to worry about billable hourly rates or any other litigation costs.

What is a Retainer?

A retainer is an advance payment made toward the cost of your divorce based upon the attorney’s estimate of how much your case may cost.

Refundable vs. Non-Refundable Retainer

Once paid, the client cannot recover a non-refundable retainer regardless of the length of the case. Refundable retainers are held in trust and used to pay invoices itemizing time spent on the case.  Any amounts remaining in trust, once all invoices are paid and the case has concluded, will be returned to the client. We differentiate ourselves from other family law firms by giving our clients options.

Contested Divorce

In a contested divorce it is oftentimes impossible to predict exactly how lengthy and how expensive a divorce may be. Unfortunately, the client can only control his or her side of the case and if the other side is being unreasonable, this could increase the client’s costs.  One way we help our clients is with refundable retainers because we never know when a case may settle.  At Bivek Brubaker & Prescott LLC our clients have the security to know that when the case is concluded their remaining account balance will be refunded in full. We are always happy to refund our clients’ money at the conclusion of a case because it means we were efficient in bringing the case to a close.

The average initial retainer for a contested divorce is $3,500. Our hourly rates range from $325 – $450 per hour. You are guaranteed to get a partner on every case.

Additional Divorce Costs and Fees

Filing Fees: The cost to file a divorce in Georgia is approximately $220 depending on which county you are required to file your case in.

Service Fees: Service of the divorce papers is required in every case unless the other party waives service.  A sheriff or a special process server can serve the papers on the other party.  A sheriff charges approximately $75 but you cannot control when the papers will be served.  A special process server charges approximately $150 and you are able to give particular instructions about when and where you would like the other party to be served.

Mediator/Arbitrator Fees: Mediation is required in all cases before the Court will grant a final hearing. Mediators charge hourly rates ranging from $200 per hour to $400 perhour. The parties typically split the mediator’s fee equally unless other arrangements have been made. Mediations can range from one hour to a full day.

Courier Fees: Sometimes it is necessary to have the delivery of original documents expedited and we hire a courier to do this.  Courier fees range from $25 to $75 per delivery.

Court Reporters: If a deposition or a hearing is necessary in your case we have to hire and pay for a court reporter to record the oral testimony of the parties. A court reporter charges a “take-down” fee that is typically $15 per hour.  It is far more expensive to request a transcript of the proceedings. This cost depends on the length of the proceeding. An average is $500 to $1,000 per transcript.

Postage and Copy Costs: We do not charge for these everyday nominal costs.  Extraordinary delivery costs will be passed along to the client.

Recovering Attorney’s Fees in a Divorce Case

A question we get frequently is: “Can I get my attorney’s fees reimbursed to me?”  The recovery of attorney’s fees in Georgia is governed by statute and depends on the specifics of each case.  If one party’s conduct is particularly egregious in the litigation then the Court may award attorney’s fees.  Additionally, if there is a disparity of income between the parties, statutory grounds exist for the lesser-earning party to recover fees. It is important to remember that attorney’s fees are always at the Judge’s discretion except in one particular case.  In certain child support cases, recovery of fees can be mandatory.  It is important to consult with your attorney to get an honest answer about your ability to recover fees.  Beware of law firms that charge an arm and a leg up front with the promise of recouping attorney’s fees. The fact of the matter is they are difficult to get, costly to pursue, and rarely awarded in full.

We understand that all of this can be confusing, that’s why Bivek Brubaker & Prescott is here to help! Call us today for your consultation.

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