Legal Toolkit Michigan Family and Divorce

What to Expect About Family and Divorce


A "fee for services" or "retainer" is typical in this area, where an amount is initially requested from the client. As the attorney spends time and expenses working on the case. Fees are generally billed at an hourly rate.  Retainer fees in divorce and family matters vary based on the issues involved and the complexity of your case.  if the retainer fund is used up at some point, the attorney may ask you to replenish it.  It is important when discussing fees to know whether the likely total case cost will be larger than the original retainer and to read and understand your retainer agreement prior to signing.


Before calling your attorney, prepare a list of questions you need answered or information you need to relate to keep the conversation, focused and productive (and potentially less expensive for you in the long run).


Attorneys charge for expenses incurred on behalf of clients. These expenses typically include copying charges, long-distance phone charges, postage, faxes, court filing fees, the cost of court reporters, expert witnesses, and other expenses associated with handling your case.


It is advisable to ask your attorney to put the fee arrangement in writing. This will help you and your attorney clarify what you will be charged for, when you are expected to pay your invoices, and what you should do if you have a concern about fees.