Friday, July 16, 2010


Whatever happened to the $500 Divorce? Well, I can tell you that as our lives grow more complex, so do our divorces. As divorces become more and more complex, they become more and more expensive. So, is there anything we can do to save on legal expenses as we proceed through the minefield of divorce? The answer is a resounding, yes. The key is to know how many issues are out there and how we can resolve them to our satisfaction with the least amount of conflict.

We need to prepare for our divorces at least as much as we planned our weddings. That's right, just as you planned your gown, cake, caterer, church and honeymoon, you need to make a roadmap for your divorce. If you don't you will get lost and it will cost you to find your way home. The purpose of this article is to let you in on all the possible ways to pay for a lawyer. Just knowing these different formats will help you decide which way to go.

Flat Fees:
The first, and best in my opinion, is to pay your lawyer a flat fee for handling your divorce from start to finish. This method is the only way to guarantee how much you will pay your lawyer. The key of course is setting the amount of the flat fee.

I suggest that for every one of the following contested issues, that you be willing to pay a $1000 flat fee: Child Custody, Child Support, Maintenance, Division of Property, and Division of a Retirement Account. Therefore, if you will not be able to agree with your spouse on all five (5) issues, a good flat fee would be $5000; if you just have one contested issue, $1000. If you are lucky enough to have no contested issues, $1000 or less is appropriate.
Craig G. Kallen III, J.D.

To read this article in its entirety, please click here.

For more information, contact the Family Law Offices of Renee M. Marcelle at (415) 456-4444, or online at

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