What is the Average Retainer Fee for a Divorce Attorney?

When you’re thinking about getting a divorce, one important thing to think about is how much it will cost.

Unfortunately, hiring a divorce lawyer can be expensive, and they usually ask for a significant upfront payment called a retainer fee.

So, how much is the usual retainer fee for a divorce lawyer?

Let’s break down what the average retainer fee is.

What is the Average Retainer Fee for a Divorce Lawyer? Photo Source (Freepik)

What is a Retainer Fee?

A retainer fee is the money you pay at the beginning to hire a lawyer.

Then, the lawyer charges you for the time they spend working for you, but only up to the amount of the retainer fee.

This is not like a flat fee, where you pay one set price no matter how much time the lawyer spends on your case.

Retainer fees are more common in divorce cases because these cases can take different amounts of time and be more complicated.

How Much is the Average Retainer Fee for a Divorce Attorney?

The average retainer fee you give to a divorce lawyer can vary based on where you live, the lawyer’s experience, and your situation.

Usually, lawyers charge between $3,000 and $5,000.

Factors that affect this fee include:

  • How much experience and qualifications the lawyer has
  • How complicated your divorce case is
  • If your case goes to trial
  • How much work the lawyer needs to do for you
  • The kind of divorce you’re going for

What Does the Retainer Fee Include?

The retainer fee is what you pay your lawyer for doing different things for you.

This includes checking your case filing papers for court, and standing up for you in court.

The retainer fee also includes discussing things with the other person involved.

Just know that the retainer fee doesn’t cover extra costs like fees for experts (such as child custody) and mediation expenses.

You’ll need to pay for these things separately.