187 South Old Woodward Avenue
Suite 250
Birmingham, Michigan 48009
Call Today (248) 540-3800
Divorce / Family Law Specialists
Ronald J. Bajorek
& Associates

Attorney Fees: "How Much Will this Cost Me?"

Once we have discussed the issues of your case, including custody, parenting time, property division, child support and spousal support, to the extent such issues are relevant to your case, then can we intelligently discuss the attorney fees and costs associated with your case.

The State Bar of Michigan provides standard guidelines for attorney fees based on the following factors: (1) the time and labor required; (2) the novelty and difficulty of the questions involved; (3) the skill requisite to perform the legal services properly; (4) the likelihood that the acceptance of your case will preclude other employment by the lawyer,(5) the fees customarily charged in your locality for similar legal services; (6) the amount involved and results obtained; (7) the time limitations imposed by the circumstances; and (8) the experience, reputation, and ability of your lawyer.

In Michigan, family law attorneys generally charge clients at an hourly rate for an amount of time that they must work on a case.  The hourly rate may vary slightly form lawyer to lawyer, but you will find that the hourly rate is fairly consistent among good lawyers in your area.  If a lawyer’s hourly rate is considerably less than most of the other lawyers in town, it is likely a red flag that he or she is not as experienced or competent as other lawyers. Also, beware of any lawyer charging a flat fee since they often fail to adequately represent the client if the case becomes difficult.   Remember, like anything else you usually get what you pay for!

Charging clients at an hourly rate is fair for both the client and the lawyer.  If your case is less difficult and takes less of the lawyer’s time, your legal fees will be lower than those of a client with a difficult and demanding case.

The primary reason why I, nor any other attorney, cannot precisely project your total attorneys fees is that it is impossible to predict how cooperative or uncooperative the other party or his or her attorney may be.  To the extent that they are uncooperative or unreasonable, the time and labor required to represent you would increase.

If and when you decide to move forward, I will provide you with a written fee agreement that explains the basis on which you will be charged.  Incident to signing the fee agreement you will be asked to provide an initial payment called a “retainer”.  Few attorneys will agree to take on your matter and commit their time and resources without a financial commitment from you.  A retainer is simply a “down payment” on  your case.  The retainer commits the attorney to your case for which he will take all necessary action to act in your best interest and in fulfillment of your legal deadlines. Since neither you nor the lawyer know exactly how much time will be involved in your case, an experienced lawyer makes an “estimate” of what he or she needs to “get started”.  The retainer is used to pay initial expenses, such as court imposed filing fees, as well as the initial hours of work.  My current hourly rate is $250-$265.  This rate is in line with what most experienced attorneys in southeast Michigan charge, the range being from $175.00 to $350.00 per hour according to the Michigan Bar Economics of Law Survey.  Once the hourly retainer is exhausted, you will be sent an itemized monthly statement showing all services performed and all amounts spent for costs (such as court filing fees, subpoena fees, and so on).   You will never get a surprise bill at the end of your case.

You will receive a copy of my standard Legal Fee Agreement, outlining what you will and will not be charged for, at our initial consultation for your review.

CALL FOR YOUR FREE CONSULTATION
OR TO SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT
(248) 540-3800


Ronald J. Bajorek
187 South Old Woodward Avenue
Suite 250
Birmingham, Michigan 48009
Call Today (248) 540-3800
Located in the historic Birmingham Theatre Office Building 1 block south of Maple, in the heart of downtown Birmingham.

Providing comprehensive divorce representation throughout Michigan including cities of Bloomfield Hills, Birmingham, West Bloomfield, Franklin, Bingham Farms, Beverly Hills, Huntington Woods, Troy, Rochester, Rochester Hills, Novi, Southfield, Royal Oak, Farmington Hills, Clarkston, Livonia, Canton, Plymouth, Northville, Commerce, Milford, Brighton, Grosse Pointe, Sterling Heights, Bloomfield Twp., Shelby Twp., Macomb, Ann Arbor, Lake Orion, Oakland County, Wayne County, Macomb County, Washtenaw County and Livingston County among others.

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