Is it all about the hourly rate?
No. The cost of divorce lawyers in Utah ranges widely. You can find law firms that charge based on the income of their clients as low as $75 an hour. Just like anything in life, you get what you pay for. Attorneys charging this low are often overworked or pad their billing. The starting billing rate for a new associate attorney in Utah is around $175. Partners with decades of experience might charge upwards of $450.00 per hour.
Hourly rate is one of many factors you should be looking at when you are trying to figure out what it is going to cost you. A lot of firms charge you every time they make copies, research charges, postage (even to send out your monthly invoice), parking (when they go to court), etc. The next consideration you have to give is how long it is going to take for your attorney to accomplish a given task. What might take an associated three or four hours to draft, might only take a seasoned attorney a couple of hours. So if you are paying $250.00 for someone like attorney Brad Carr or $295.00/hr for an attorney like James Woodall, it might end up costing you less than paying a new associate in another firm $150.00 hour because it takes the new attorney 2-3 times longer to draft the same paperwork. It’s not always just about the hourly rate.
Are there flat fee options?
Sort of. While there are some firms in Utah that offer flat fees even in contested cases, it is not necessarily your best option. These flat fee prices are based on an estimate of the amount of time that your case or a given project will take. The estimate is based on what the attorney is spending in similar cases. You are paying a fee based on the average time it takes to complete a task. If your case is simple, you are probably paying more than you should. If your case is complicated, then a flat fee option might be the way to go. We do not offer flat fees on contested cases because it rarely results in a fair charge. However, if your divorce is uncontested, we do offer a flat attorney fee of $550.00. You will likely find this is the least expensive uncontested divorce attorney fee in Utah.
So what is the bottom line?
The bottom line figure is that most parties to a contested divorce should end up spending somewhere between $2,500.00 and $7,500.00 in total. If your case goes to trial, it will be much more. If your case settles prior to mediation, you will be on the lower end. If your case settles prior to both mediation and any hearings, it is likely going to be much less than $2,500.00. Our firm offers free divorce consultations with an associate attorney or $100.00 to have a consult with one of the partners.