10 Things Divorce Attorneys Won’t Say: “You’ll Pay More…”
June 14, 2012
Just read a great article in Smart Money: 10 Things Divorce Attorneys Won’t Say. Thank you to my friend, Randy Kessler, for posting the article on Facebook. Of course, Randy is quoted extensively, so no wonder he posted it!
Still, it’s a great article because it provides a lot of fodder for a budding blogger like me! So, let’s get started and I’ll be posting comments from time-to-time of various of the “things” which I supposedly won’t say.
First, according to the article: “You’ll pay more than the advertised rate — way more.”
Comment: This is simple: Any client who hires a divorce lawyer who advertises “a quick and easy divorce for $299” gets what they are paying for. As Randy Kessler says in the article, if there is nothing to negotiate, but only forms to fill out (which is true of many divorces), a flat fee is possible. Otherwise, it is impossible to predict fees because it is impossible to predict the process.
Many potential clients ask me for an estimate of costs, and that is perfectly fair. However, it can only be an estimate. Divorces in Wisconsin take a minimum of 120 days under the law and give the vagaries of court calenders, usually more time than the statutory minimum. So many things can happen in the interim that predicting the final cost is simply not possible. To quote the greatest American philosopher of all time, Yogi Berra: “Predictions are difficult to make, especially about the future,”
Good divorce lawyers will never guarantee a fee. At best, we can give an estimate, and hope the client remembers that it was just that – an estimate.