Note – this page explains how Graham.Law‘s consult and retainer fees work. If you are looking for the page to make payments, click here.
FREE Family Law Consults
Graham.Law gives you three consult options:
- Free 30-Minute First-Time Consult – this is real legal advice, with one of our dedicated family law attorneys, not meeting with a staffer trying to sell you something. Please note that while 30 minutes may be sufficient for a post-decree modification, if you have a full divorce case pending, you will have to bring your most important questions to answer, and understand that we may not have time to address everything. Note that the free consult is available for first-time domestic relations litigation consults only, and not for prenuptial or postnuptial agreements, or for a follow-up consult.
- Reduced Rate 1-Hour First-Time Consult. If you are looking for more detailed answers, we offer a one-hour consult at the reduced rate of $100. During that time, we will roll up our sleeves (metaphorically-speaking) and discuss your issues in more depth without worrying about running out the clock. Note that the reduced-rate is available for first-time consults only, and not for follow-up consults.
- Full Price 1-Hour Consult. We offer a full-price $385 consult if this is a follow-up consult, or if you want legal advice or a review of your documents, but are not seeking to hire an attorney. And if you already have an attorney but are exploring different legal representation, we also charge $385.
We’re not going to waste your time or money. During your consult, we tell you what you need to know with real answers, not fluff or a sales pitch.
You should talk to a professional to explore your options, even if you’re not sure you wish to proceed. Fill out our contact form, or call us at (719) 630-1123 to set up a no-obligation consult.
Finally, while we do not charge for a first missed consult, unfortunately due to no-shows we will collect a non-refundable consult fee before booking another consult for a client with multiple cancellations, or who missed a consult without calling at least a day in advance.
Clients who retain a law firm pay a “retainer”, which is an up-front fee that is deposited into a trust account, and as work is performed, the fees are deducted from that retainer.
While the retainer may be sufficient for an uncontested case, or for some contested post-decree cases, it almost certainly will not cover the costs for a contested divorce or child custody case. The retainer is not an estimate of your total costs, but is an affordable down payment so you can at least get things started.
For post-decree cases, our retainer is typically $3000-$4000, depending upon the type of case.
For divorces, our retainer is typically going to be $6000, and then you agree to set up a payment plan and top up the retainer with affordable monthly payments. Avoiding taking a big retainer up front means that the retainer is unlikely to cover the costs of your case, but by spreading out the payments, it makes a divorce more affordable for people who may not have $7000 or more sitting in a bank account waiting to be spent.
In certain cases where the attorney believes that your case will involve a custody battle or more complicated financial disputes, a higher retainer may be required.
The retainer is legally your money until is earned by us – it is not a flat-rate charge, but a prepayment of a portion of your legal fees. If you decide to reconcile a couple of months into the case (as some of our clients have done), you will receive a refund of your retainer balance. If you get a couple months into your case, and decide our firm is not a good fit for you (hopefully that will not happen, but sometimes attorneys and clients just don’t mesh properly), we withdraw, and you receive a refund of your remaining retainer balance.
Once representation begins, you will need to replenish your retainer to ensure an adequate balance for trial – the details are in our retainer agreement.
As for your total costs, litigation is unpredictable. We can pledge to you that we will not run up your fees needlessly, so in the end, you can count on receiving value for money.
Statutory notice re: credit card payments: “To cover the cost of processing a credit or charge card transaction, and pursuant to section 5-2-212, Colorado Revised Statutes, a seller or lessor may impose a processing surcharge in an amount not to exceed the merchant discount fee that the seller or lessor incurs in processing the sales or lease transaction. A seller or lessor shall not impose a processing surcharge on payments made by use of cash, a check, or a debit card or redemption of a gift card.” Note – we hate this fee too, but it’s a necessary cost of defraying the high cost of credit card processing. Paying your retainer by debit card or check avoids this fee.
Our fees are mid-range for El Paso County: our associates charge $385/hr, and we thank our military clients with a discounted $345/hr. If you would like to retain our managing partner, Carl Graham, his fees are $425/hr, or for our military clients, $385/hr.
What matters most, however, are the total fees at the end of your case. In cases where both sides’ legal fees are before the court and therefore known, most of the time Graham.Law’s total fees are less than the other guys. Even the so-called cut-rate firms which charge less per hour end up costing more as they usually bill a lot more time to make up for it!
We challenge you to find a more dedicated team of lawyers with our experience and focus who provide better value for money.