As time continues to fly, things continue to change. Let’s not even begin to reminisce about the year 2020 and how it has affected us all in some way or another. As things begin to change, so do people; their expectations, perspectives, and needs begin to change, shift, and evolve.
One of the biggest critiques of the legal profession is that we fail to keep up with change. We’re like that cool dad that’s not so cool but thinks he’s really cool. Consequently, the legal profession ends up being the last profession to hop on board a train as it’s leaving.
An interesting change that is becoming more and more popular is unbundled services – AKA limited scope representation. Meaning, you can retain an attorney for a specific issue in your case.
As I’m addressing the differences, keep these numbers in mind: The average cost of divorce for couples without children is $17,100. The average cost for couples with children is $26,300. Key word: average. I bet this is the first time you wished you were either below average or average, huh?
Traditionally speaking, most lawyers will require an upfront payment prior to starting work on your case. That’s called a retainer. Retainers in family law typically range from $5,000 to upwards of $10,000, depending on the complexity of your case, and the retainer sits in a trust account for you. As the attorney begins working on your case, she begins to “earn” that money. As the attorney “earns” her money, her fees get deducted from the retainer. The retainer balance decreases and when the retainer balance reaches a minimum balance or a zero balance, you will be required to replenish your account in order for the attorney to continue working on your case.
However, most people do not have $5,000 - $10,000 sitting around to pay a retainer. Some even opt to put their retainer on a credit card, only to be faced with struggling to pay it off later.
Hooray for most, there’s an alternative to the traditional route of hiring an attorney. That alternative is unbundled services.
Unbundled services is also known as limited scope representation. This means you hire an attorney for specific issues in your case. Think of unbundled services as “a la carte.” You decide which issues you want your attorney to help with or what type of work you want your attorney to do. This can look like reviewing documents, doing legal research, drafting agreements, appearing at a hearing, advising you on your next steps, etc. This will allow for you to pick and choose when an attorney may be needed. There is no one size fits all when it comes to unbundled services. Whatever help you may need, you discuss that with your attorney, and you both come to an agreement on the price. That simple.
There are pros and cons to both routes, and it really depends on how involved you want to be with your case, how involved you want your attorney to be in your case, how much time you have to devote to your case, and how much you are or are not willing to spend.
What Wells-Gibson Family Law Can Offer You!
Here at Wells-Gibson Family Law, both options are available. We offer free, one-hour consultations, and during that time, we will assess your case and have an honest discussion about which route is likely to be better for you.
Our biggest goal is making sure everyone has access to an attorney, and that allows for us to be flexible enough to provide services in a manner that will best suit you and your family’s needs. We are truthful and transparent during these conversations and will never judge a client for the hardships they may be experiencing. We understand how devastating and draining divorces can be. It is our mission to help you remain right side up, because we know during a divorce your world feels like it’s upside down.
Book a consult and we will answer any questions you may have. Chat soon!