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Paying a Large Retainer to File a Divorce Action Can Be a Critical Mistake

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Paying a Large Retainer to File a Divorce Action Can Be a Critical Mistake

{2:12 minutes to read} A retainer is an advance fee that you pay a lawyer which is in effect a down payment that will be applied toward the total fee charged.

Paying a Large Retainer to File a Divorce Action Can Be a Critical Mistake by Daniel R. Burns

The reason why a lawyer requires a retainer is that, if you stop paying them, they must obtain the permission of the judge before they can stop representing you in a court action. Since many judges are reluctant to grant this permission simply because the lawyer is not getting paid, the lawyer wants to collect an advance fee to cover as much of the time spent on your case as possible.

In the capital district of New York, a retainer fee is usually anywhere from $5,000 to $15,000 depending on the complexity of the matter and the experience of the lawyer. If you retain a lawyer your spouse will probably need to retain a lawyer as well. That means that $10,000 to $30,000 of the family’s funds will be spent on retainer fees!

The only reason to retain an attorney is when you must file a court action right away due to an emergency. This might include your spouse taking the children from the house or leaving and refusing to pay the household bills. In those situations, you may need to go into court right away.

If you don’t have an emergency, consult with your own attorney if you want legal advice. But instead of retaining that attorney, pay him or her for the time and use a trained divorce mediator to help you work out a settlement agreement with your spouse.

If you do that you will probably never have to retain an attorney and go into court!

Daniel R. Burns

Attorney & Mediator
1187 Troy Schenectady Road
Latham, NY 12110
Phone: (518) 529-5200
E-Mail: Info@BurnsMediation.com
Web: www.BurnsMediation.com

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