Get A Free Consultation
Fill in the form and we’ll contact you to schedule an initial meeting.
Divorce Resource Center
Retainers Can Be Based on Geographical Location and Attorney Experience
Retainers to hire an attorney for your divorce or family law case vary greatly in Colorado. For example, our firm offers a simplified “pay-as-you-go” approach with sustainable retainers. We know that family law cases are challenging, and choosing an attorney to represent your interests can be just as challenging. So that you can understand how our sustainable retainer system works and make an informed decision about your attorney, we want to give you as much information as possible before you request your free consultation with one of our attorneys.
Our retainers begin at the following levels for our sustainable retainer program for cases in the Denver Metro Area:
- Denver County: $2,500
- Douglas County: $2,500
- Adams County: $3,000
- Arapahoe County: $2,500
- Jefferson County: $2,500
- El Paso County: $2,500
*Amounts are subject to increase with certain factors, such as emergency hearings, as well as which of our attorneys you retain.
The retainer is not an estimate of the cost of your case. Due to the variable nature of divorce cases, a sustainable retainer allows your attorney to work on your case in an efficient and responsive way, without pausing to collect more monies to ensure continued progress.
Examples of how a sustainable retainer works.
With a sustainable retainer, you are able to see the work being done on your case, and the fees associated with it, on a monthly basis. When more funds are required, our finance team will pull from your retainer, and bring your retainer back up to the minimum amount. At any point, you can call and speak with your attorney or one of our support staff members who can answer questions you may have about your monthly statement. Below are some examples of a few cases using the Johnson Márquez Legal Group sustainable retainer approach*. For comparison purposes, the retainer and the hourly rate will be the same in all examples:
- Susan and Mike Smith are getting divorced in Jefferson County. They’ve been married 3 years, have minimal assets, and no children. Susan hires one of our attorneys, and invests $2,500 in a retainer. Her attorney has an hourly rate of $250, and does 6 hours of work on her case. $1,500 is pulled from her retainer, which will be paid to her attorney. $1,000 remains in her trust. Our billing specialist sends a statement listing the work that was done and the associated fees. Susan reviews her statement, and finds no discrepancy. The credit card she used to establish her retainer is charged $1,500 to bring her trust back up to $2,500. Work continues into the next month, when a similar cycle is completed.
- John and Jane Doe are separated, but need to establish parenting time and support for their two children. Jane feels like she needs more child support than John has provided, and is withholding parenting time from him until he pays more. John isn’t sure what he should be paying, so he contacts Johnson Márquez Legal Group. After a free consultation with one of our attorneys, John retains a lawyer for $2,500 with an hourly rate of $250. Due to high conflict in the case, his attorney does 16 hours of work. His statement is issued, and he sees a total of $4,000. He calls to clarify with his attorney, who explains that multiple calls have been made to Jane’s attorney to get the financial disclosures, and when the documents were received, it was incomplete. That has led to additional work being done on the case. Although John is frustrated, he understands the charges. His trust is withdrawn the $2,500, the credit card he used to establish his retainer is charged $4,000 to bring his trust up to the minimum, and to pay the attorney the remaining balance.
- Jill and Sam Jackson are getting legally separated. They’re working together, and came in to retain one of our attorneys after a free consultation. They establish their retainer for $2,500 and the attorney’s hourly rate is $250. Because they are able to work together, information is delivered in a timely manner, and the paperwork is filed. The entire case goes smoothly, and the statements have all been accurate. In the final month, only 3 hours of work is done before the case is completed. $750 is pulled from the trust, leaving $2,050 of the retainer. The case concludes, and the balance of the retainer is returned to Jill and Sam after the next full billing cycle.
*We bill twice per month / clients receive statements twice per month.