If you are getting a divorce, and you have hired a divorce attorney from a place like Olson Kulkoski Galloway & Vesely SC for help, you may be wondering where the retainer and all of the legal fees go. There seems to be a lot of money going around. Here is a brief explanation to how your divorce attorney uses your retainer and the extra money you continue to pay after that.
Court Document Filing Fees
Filing court document fees has its own little set of charges. You will pay "x" amount of dollars to file the initial divorce document. Then you pay some more to file documents for custody, child support, and any spousal support to which you may be entitled under your state laws. If you need to file any documents in addition to these, there are fees for those documents as well.
Court document filing fees are then paid out to court clerks, who scan the documents into digital format, and type copy into your divorce file as needed. Their services are covered by the filing fees, and without their services, the judge hearing your divorce case would be unable to view and review the documents in time for the hearing.
Communication with Your Attorney
All of your communiques with your attorney, from the simplest two-line email to a twenty-minute phone call, all fall within the usage of your lawyer/client time. Every time you communicate with your attorney, he or she is "on the clock," and there are bills for the time spent reading your texts, emails, and talking to you directly. If you want to see how these communiques were billed, you are well within your rights to ask for an itemized statement.
Gas and Travel Time and Time in/out of Court
At the law firm's discretion, your lawyer may also bill for gas and travel time. If it takes him/her thirty minutes to reach the county court house, and a gallon of gas was used to do this, you will be billed for the lawyer's time and the current going rate of the price of a gallon of gas. Once at the courthouse, your lawyer will also bill you for the time it takes for your hearing to be heard. If you spend any time talking to your lawyer outside the courtroom after the hearing, you will also be billed for that.
Ergo, choose to be efficient in your communications, time, and number of trips to the courthouse so that your retainer is not eaten up too quickly.