A retainer is a fee that clients pay upfront to secure legal services from an attorney. Typically, hourly services will be deducted from the retainer as they are completed, but will not necessarily cover the entire cost of work performed depending on the complexity of a case. Additional funds may be requested if the retainer drops below a certain amount to continue working on a case. Any unused retainer is refunded to the client at the end of a case.
Retainers are necessary to compensate an attorney for starting the agreed upon work and making themselves available to answer any questions a client may have during the course of events. Not only are attorney’s fees compensated, but also other expenses that an attorney may incur as the case proceeds which could include anything from investigative work to court fees.
A retainer for divorce services in Illinois depends on the complexity of the case. A non-contested divorce with few assets typically require less time than a contested case involving the division of marital assets and debt, child custody and support, and other issues that must be decided. Regardless of the amount of the retainer, all unused funds will be refunded to the client should the case settle quickly. A reputable attorney will strive for the most favorable outcome while keeping costs down where possible.
When a client decides to hire a lawyer to handle their divorce cases, they will enter into a legal services agreement, which is a contract that creates a record of the attorney client relationship that protects both parties. The legal services agreement will detail the services to be provided and the fee and payment schedule, which will include the required retainer to be paid to begin services.
If you are considering divorce and have questions regarding attorney fees including information regarding retainers, contact the family law office of Ronald L Bell & Associates for answers to your questions today, We are here to help,