Law Office of Jon R. Boyd: Fee Options — 

Boyd Family Law has a Fee Option which will fit your desired method of payment.  See the information below or call for details.

We are now offering:

1.  Flat Fee Packages – As the name suggests, you pay a set or flat amount for your case or for stages of work, starting with a Base Flat Fee (the majority of all divorces) with additional flat fees being due for additional services or phases, as needed.

A.     DOCUMENT PREPARATION ONLY FOR PRO SE AGREED DIVORCES AND OTHER MATTERS:

We will prepare your Petition, Waiver and Decree but you file in your own name. pay your own court costs, represent yourself and appear in court pro se. Flat Fees are as follows:

1.  Agreed Divorce, No Children:

No Real Estate or Retirement — Base Flat Fee $750.00

With Real Estate and Retirement — $1,250.00 + QDRO Fee

Additional Fees for Complex Property Division:  Call For Quote

2.  Agreed Divorce, With Children:

One parent has Primary Custody, the other has Standard  Possession,  No Real Property and/or Retirement — $1,000.00

One parent has Primary Custody, the other has Standard Possession, with Real Property and Retirement — $1,500.00 + QDRO Fee

Split or Equal Custody, the other has Standard Possession, No Real Property or Retirement — $1,350.00

Split or Equal Custody, the other has Standard Possession, with Real Property or Retirement — $1,850.00 + QDRO Fee

Additional Fees for Complex Property Division:  Call For Quote

3.   Agreed Modification of Custody, Visitation or Child Support: Starting at $950.00, but call for quote

4.   Agreed Paternity:   Starting at $950.00, but call for quote

B.     FULL REPRESENTATION FOR AGREED DIVORCES AND OTHER MATTERS:

We will prepare all your legal documents, file them for you, advance the court costs, and appear in Court with you to finalize your case. Flat Fees are as follows:

1.   Agreed Divorce, No Children:

No Real Estate or Retirement: $1,275.00 + Costs

With Real Estate and/or Retirement: $1,775.00 + Costs + QDRO Fee

Additional Fees for Complex Property Division:  Call For Quote

2.   Agreed Divorce, With Children:

One parent has Primary Custody, the other has Standard Possession, No Real Property and/or Retirement: $1,525.00 + Costs

One parent has Primary Custody, the other has Standard Possession, with Real Property and Retirement: $2,025.00 + QRDO Fee + Costs

Split or Equal Custody, the other has Standard Possession, No Real Property and Retirement: $1,875.00 + Costs

Split or Equal Custody, the other has Standard Possession, with  Real Property and Retirement: $2,375.00 + QDRO Fee + Costs

Additional Fees for Complex Property Division:  Call For Quote

3.   Agreed Modification of Custody, Visitation or Child Support: Call for  Quote

4.   Agreed Paternity:   Call for Quote

(***Definition of “Agreed”:

“Agreed” for purposes of these prices means:

You and the other party have already agreed upon ALL terms and issues in your case before you call;

The prices include: one office visit of one hour, 30 min of phone conference time and up to 10 emails; if full representation, one appearance in Court; if QDRO necessary, we arrange for a QDRO attorney to prepare that document for you at your cost; and

Time expended above and beyond these terms will be billed and payable at our usual hourly rates.)

*** Some benefits over traditional hourly billing include:***

Possibility of better outcomes as it removes the cost-based disincentive for the exchange of information with your legal team.

More certainty and better understanding of the legal costs, since estimating hourly fees is unpredictable.

Better decision making with the increased ability to conduct accurate cost-benefit analysis.

-This option usually is best if you believe your case will be uncontested or easily resolved. For example, if you anticipate agreement at the outset of a divorce or other matter

2. Hourly Fees on Contested Matters – This is the usual way fees are charged on contested cases due to the inherent unpredictability of any given case. Using this method, you pay for our time based on our respective hourly rates.  You will pay a deposit or down payment, known as a “retainer”, which pays in advance for a set number of hours and for the court costs we will be paying in your behalf, then you may or may not have to replenish your retainer as necessary as the case progresses. Essentially, you pay as you go, always maintaining enough money in Trust to pay for the services and costs we project as being incurred, while not having to pay more than what we expect to be incurred, as the case proceeds and as needed. Call us for details and rates, we’re happy to answer any questions you have. We typically charge in .1 hour increments, which is 6 minutes of time. Compare this to many other firms which charge .2 or .25 hour increments for the same time spent– the difference adds up quickly!

Benefits of this Fee Arrangement:

-You pay only for actual services and time spent, no more and no less.

-This works best for contested cases where the length and difficulty of the case is uncertain.

-This allows you to “pay as you go” to some degree in that you deposit funds as needed into the trust account based on estimates of upcoming services.

– You are provided monthly detailed billings showing the services rendered or expenses incurred in itemized, chronological fashion so you know exactly what services you are paying for, the status of your account, whether more funds are required for that billing period, etc.

3.  Legal Advice Via Email on a very low, per month subscription basis. This is an attractive choice for those clients who:

-Want to know their legal rights but do not wish or need to undertake legal action yet.

-Have chosen to represent themselves, but have questions about the process.

-Were recently divorced and want to have an attorney answer those questions as they arise about what certain paragraphs in their orders mean and the like.

We each have children, have had our own family law cases, and understand personally and professionally what you are going through. Contact us today.  We can help.

Tips on Ways to Reduce Legal Expenses

You have hired us or your family law case. Now, how do you help contain some of your legal costs? Here are some tips:

1. Use therapists, not your lawyer, for therapy.
Although family law attorneys deal on a daily basis with the emotional issues confronting their clients each day, few are as well trained as professional therapists. Counselors and mental health professional generally charge less than attorneys, have more specialized knowledge, and may accept medical insurance. These professionals can work in conjunction with attorneys (thereby possibly protecting the communications) and may be able to assist the legal team in best meeting the mutual client’s goals. Family law matters by definition involve highly emotional, psychological, and related issues. By using the assistance of professionals to recognize and address these issues, the attorney can best represent the client’s interests and that of their family.

2. Make and keep a list of your questions.
Do not call or email your attorney with each individual question that comes to mind. Keep a list handy and write down questions for your attorney. When you are otherwise meeting with your attorney or have several questions, then bring them up so that they can all be addressed together.

3. Transmit information to your attorney in writing (including email).
Attorneys are consummate note takers and lawsuits involve a great number of facts. Information conveyed to attorneys over the telephone and verbally at meetings will be taken down by the attorney, which notes are subject to misunderstanding and inaccuracies. By providing information to your attorney in writing, the information is conveyed and maintained in your own words following which your attorney can present follow up questions for clarification. Also, realize that all of us read faster than we can take notes, so sending written information saves your lawyer time and you money.

4. Organize information requested by your attorney and provide it as and when requested.
Your attorney will require substantial information and documentation. This information will have to be organized so that your attorney can review, learn, and understand the facts that support and may harm your case. At the outset of your case, you will likely understand your life, your finances, and your family better than your attorney. Time you spend organizing information needed for your case is less time your attorney and his staff will have to spend and consequently less attorney’s fees. If you have $1,000.00 to spend on a project, would you rather spend it on your attorney organizing a jumbled box of documents in preparation for a hearing or on learning the facts set out in the organized box of documents and crafting legal arguments based thereon that will serve your position?

5. Do not hide information from your attorney.
Nothing hurts a case more than a surprise at trial or during negotiations. Your job is not to please your attorney or seek their approval. Your attorney has been hired to support you and your desires. But at the same time, never trust an attorney that refuses to criticize your bad conduct and tell you when your actions harm your case. Demand that your attorney tell you the good and bad of your case, including that such negative statements are meant to protect and facilitate the accomplishment of your desired outcome.

6. Respond to tasks delegated to you by your attorney promptly. If your attorney has asked for something, there is a reason for it. The sooner the attorney has the information, the quicker it can be used to help you.

7. Talk to and use paralegal or staff whenever possible – Many people withhold information from paralegals, feeling they must tell only the attorney. However, please remember that Attorney-Client confidentiality extends to the entire office staff. The paralegal working on your case knows the facts of your case and can provide an invaluable asset — all at a reduced hourly billing rate than the attorney. Demand that any lawyer you hire use paralegals to reduce your overall fees and put more minds on your case. You will be glad you did.

A Final Thought About Paying Your Lawyer and his Staff

I often tell my clients: “You should be much more concerned about sending your own children to college than mine.” Don’t waste money on legal fees you don’t need to pay, but do be willing to pay for the legal services and advice you need and use.

The issue is basic but needs to be said: Clients should agree to pay for the legal advice they need and Lawyers should be paid for the legal advice they provide. However, this is often overlooked by people who are by definition in need of help when they seek legal help — for some reason, too often people forget this is a service and a profession and we deserve to be paid for our services.

My family and my employees and their families are supported with the legal fees paid by our clients. When a client has trouble paying their bills on time, there is no money for my family and that of my employees. Further, the legal profession demands extensive education, the maintenance of credentials and knowledge of the law, and devotion of much of one’s waking hours to the service of others. You will likely not find an attorney that would choose to practice law rather than spend time with their family if not being paid. It is critical for clients to recognize that the attorney’s professional and personal reputation is placed on the line with each argument, every client’s case, and each action they take in representation of their client. Your attorney will and should be personally vested in the presentation of your case. For this and the service your attorney is retained to provide, expect and demand that your attorney be properly, promptly, and adequately compensated.

Every client of every lawyer has a problem for which they need help. Lawyers are here to help their clients, not take on their client’s problems as their own. Don’t expect your lawyer to finance your legal representation. If you  don’t have the financial means for the representation you need, ask friends, family, or use traditional lenders. Lawyers make bad bankers and you really need your lawyer working for you, not being worried about whether or not they will be paid at the end of the day.

Thank you for understanding.

Jon R. Boyd