One question I am frequently asked is whether I can offer flat-rate fee family law services. In some situations, I am able to offer clients flat rates. In cases where parties do not have an agreement on issues, I cannot offer flat fees and would require an initial retainer being paid prior to representing you. I then bill out of those retainers at my very reasonable hourly rate. With respect to fees for Wills and Estate Planning, I almost always can quote parties a flat rate.
In family law matters, it is important to note that I am only able to represent one party; my client. In an uncontested divorce, my client is the person who reaches out to me, says they want to hire me, and signs a letter of representation agreement with me. Even in the event of an “uncontested divorce” where both spouses are in agreement, I can only represent one party. Your spouse would then have the opportunity to review any agreement with his or her own attorney.
- Uncontested Divorces or Judicial Separation
If you and your soon-to-be ex spouse have an agreement on all issues in your divorce, then I will likely be able to quote you a very affordable flat-rate fee to file your case and represent you at the final court appearance to place your agreement on the record. The flat rate will depend on the property involved, and whether there are minor children, etc.
2. Review of Divorce Settlement Agreements or Pre-Marital or Post-Marital Agreements
If your spouse has already hired their own attorney to prepare a settlement agreement (or a pre-marital or post-marital agreement), I can review with you (prior to signing!) to ensure the terms are in your best interest, and are fair and equitable under Maine Law. The flat-rate amount will depend on the property involved, and whether there are minor children, etc.
3. Drafting of Divorce Settlement Agreements or Pre-Marital or Post-Marital Agreements
Perhaps you’ve already filed your initial divorce paperwork and have reached a full agreement with your spouse that needs to be reduced to writing for the court’s approval. I can draft your settlement agreement for a flat rate.
4. Review or Preparation of Initial Family Matter Filing Documents
If you have already drafted your initial family matter paperwork, I can offer you a flat rate fee to review the paperwork with you prior to filing and meet in my office to discuss how to proceed.
5. Drafting of Divorce Settlement Agreements or Pre-Marital or Post-Marital Agreements
If you are getting married and require a pre-marital agreement or a “pre-nup” agreement to protect your assets in the event of a divorce, I can usually offer flat rate representation. If you are already married and you and your spouse have decided to enter into a post-marital agreement, I can also offer this service for a flat rate.
In short, flat rate attorneys fees are not always possible in family law matters. However, whenever possible, I’m happy to offer flat rates to clients.