How are Fees Charged in Family Law Cases?

Contingent fees are not permitted in family law cases. Each case is unique depending upon the complexity of the issues and the degree of cooperation (or lack thereof) by the other spouse and their attorney. Therefore, attorney fees in family law cases are based upon the attorney’s hourly fee, which is billed against a minimum retainer on a monthly basis. All time spent by the attorney on the client’s behalf is charged in 6 minute intervals. For cases within Dauphin and Cumberland County, no attorney’s fees are charged for travel to and from the courthouse and the client is not charged for in-house routine postage or copies. However, the client is responsible to reimburse the attorney for any out of county travel as well as filing fees, out-of-pocket costs, and expenses including expert witness and court-reporter fees. The amount of the minimum retainer is based upon the attorney’s estimate of the fees, costs and expenses to be billed during the month. After the minimum fee is reached, and the case is concluded, the unused portion of the retainer is returned to the client.