updated 17 December 2018
by Wes Cowell
Family law can be unpredictable. For that reason, most lawyers bill by-the-hour. The risk that a case might spin out of control stays with the client. When clients ask "how much will this cost?" they're told "Sorry, but there's no way to know until your case is done."
Flat-rate arrangements are preferable to that uncertainty. They're better for the client and they're better for the lawyer. Here's why:
Certainty: You know what you're paying for and you know what you'll get. The lawyer knows exactly what the client wants to focus on. Objectives are clearly defined and we avoid "mission-creep" and moving targets.
Quick Pace: Your lawyer has a financial incentive to speed things up. Flat-rate compensation motivates the lawyer to get your case done quickly.
Trust: Clients know the lawyer isn't fabricating issues, exacerbating conflicts, or delaying the case. That builds trust -- and more trust means better representation.
Better Relationship: Clients open up and share more when they know they're not being billed for every phone call and e-mail. You'll relax knowing that the meter isn't running -- there is no meter! That will allow you to share more and work more closely with your lawyer.
Focus: Your lawyer doesn't have to worry about all that "time-and-billing" busy-work (about 40% of a lawyer's workday). You and your lawyer can focus on the best resolution to your case.