$900 Family Law Attorney
I help clients resolve their family law matters for a flat fee or affordable hourly rate. Specifically, I help clients address issues related to divorce, child support, child custody, spousal support and the division of community property while preserving their financial integrity.
When possible I charge a flat rate of $900 against the retainer to prepare the necessary forms for dissolution of marriage & disclosures. My flat fee combined with low hourly billing makes me one of the most affordable full-service divorce attorneys in Sacramento.
To schedule a free consultation and learn more about my services call me directly at (916) 250-1610 Monday through Saturday from 8 AM to 6 PM.
Michael Benavides – Family Law Attorney
I offer free consultations at my office Monday through Saturday by appointment. The free consultation is designed to help me understand your family law case while helping you determine whether I am best suited to help you achieve your desired result. Some clients only need help with a particular stage of their family law case while others need an attorney for the entire process.
Attorney Fees in Family Law
In rare circumstances I can offer representation for a flat fee. In these cases the issues and scope of work are predictable and clearly defined. For example, I may be able to offer limited scope representation to help you with a particular stage of your family law case for a flat fee payable by credit card. In contrast, if you need representation from start-to-finish I will quote an affordable hourly rate just like many Sacramento family law attorneys. When an attorney bills by the hour the client will make an initial “retainer” payment which the attorney will bill against as they work. However, unlike many Sacramento family law attorneys, I allow clients to pay by credit card without any deductions for processing or merchant fees.
The main advantage of a flat fee is that the attorney bears the risk as to how much work will be involved to satisfy the scope of work, whereas the client’s risk is fixed to a specific dollar amount.
The disadvantage of a flat fee is that you may be stuck with a low-quality attorney, paralegal or “document preparer.” After payment they may deliver poor work and leave you in a worse position minus the flat fee paid.
$250 Hourly Rate
The most common fee structure for divorce and family law matters is the hourly rate. In an hourly rate structure the attorney is paid an initial retainer at the beginning of representation. In turn, the attorney will bill against the retainer at their hourly rate as work is performed. As representation continues the retainer may become depleted at which point the client will pay an additional amount to restore the retainer balance.
The main advantage of hourly billing is that the client only pays for work as it’s performed by the attorney. If a matter is resolved quickly the client may save money as opposed to a flat fee structure. In addition, the client is free to fire the attorney during representation and only pay for the work performed.
The obvious disadvantage of the hourly rate structure is that the client bears the risk for the total cost of representation. If representation requires litigation or years of work, the client will pay for every hour worked by the attorney. Due to the likelihood of significant attorney fees incurred in contested divorces, many attorneys and pragmatic clients attempt to avoid litigation in favor of mediation and negotiated settlements.
I understand that divorce is one of the most important financial and emotional events in a person’s life. As an attorney I help clients navigate divorce in a way that will preserve their financial future. For example, in child support cases I help my client achieve a child support award consistent with their financial well-being.
Child support is one of the most frequently contested issues in divorce. California uses the State Uniform Guideline to calculate child support which often leads to child support awards far greater than the actual cost of raising a child. Accordingly, both parties have an incentive to invest in a skilled child support attorney to achieve an effective child support award.
California spousal support is not guaranteed in all cases. The award and calculation of spousal support (otherwise known as alimony) is calculated in reference to statutory “factors.” These factors include the length of marriage, standard of living, marketable skill of the parties, and the supporting spouse’s ability to pay – among several other factors. Due to the court’s discretion in both awarding spousal support and fixing it’s amount, a spousal support attorney can deliver significant value in contested spousal support cases.
One of the most frequently contested issues in divorce is child custody. The court will issue a custody order consistent with the child’s best interest, but what shapes the court’s opinion is your attorney’s presentation of a custody order consistent with your child’s health, safety and welfare; frequent contact with you to enhance bonding, stability and continuity of care; and possibly to remove the influence of drugs, alcohol or abuse.