Divorces can vastly range in price depending on the case circumstances. Many factors impact the cost of a divorce, including how agreeable the parties are or if a trial is necessary. Uncontested divorce, where the parties are agreeable on all topics, are generally the most cost-efficient divorce. However, it is not uncommon for a divorce case to start out amicable and become high-conflict. It is also not uncommon for contentious divorces to settle in mediation. Because of the unpredictable nature of divorces, attorneys rarely can give you a set total for your divorce. Instead, the most common type of fee structure in a divorce case is hourly rates with an initial retainer amount.

Each firm and attorney will handle billing differently. When you consult with a law firm, you will want to ask them specific questions about their fees and billing practices.

The Retainer

Most divorce cases are billed on an hourly structure with an initial retainer amount. A retainer is an advance that a law firm requires before they start work on your file. The retainer funds are deposited into a trust account and your legal team will bill their hourly rates to the account each month. You should receive monthly statements itemizing the attorney and paralegal billable time and the remaining balance of your retainer amount in the trust account. If your trust funds get low, you may be asked to replenish the account.

Hourly Rates

An attorney’s hourly rate can vary based on region and experience. They typically range between $250 and $400 per hour, depending on location and experience. You will also want to ask the hourly rates of the other legal staff such as paralegals or legal assistants. The legal support professionals will assist the attorney and also help to keep your costs down.

Billing Practices

Most firms will outline their billing practices in a legal document called a retainer agreement. It is important to ask when you are billed and when you will receive statements. The billing practices should also outline how expenses are handled. Are case expenses billed to your trust account and shown on your statements? Common expenses include filing fees, process server fees, expert fees, paper and copying fees, or postage.

At Brown Law, we take pride in being fully transparent with our billing structure. We understand divorce can be expensive, but we do our best to try to keep your costs low while still protecting your interests. If you are thinking about filing for divorce or would like more information, contact our office today. Our attorneys and legal staff are ready to assist. Call our office at (763) 323-6555, or submit an online inquiry request through our website.

Photo of Jason Brown Jason Brown

Jason Brown founded the Brown Law Offices, P.A. in 2003 after working for several years as an associate attorney in downtown Minneapolis. He graduated with honors from Mankato State University in 1997 and the William Mitchell College of Law in 2000.

Jason has…

Jason Brown founded the Brown Law Offices, P.A. in 2003 after working for several years as an associate attorney in downtown Minneapolis. He graduated with honors from Mankato State University in 1997 and the William Mitchell College of Law in 2000.

Jason has successfully litigated against some of the more recognized family law attorneys in the Twin Cities. He has been named a “Super Lawyer” by Thomson Reuters, and one of the Top 100 Family Law Attorneys in Minnesota by the Society of Legal Advocates.

In addition to his work as a lawyer, Jason serves as a mediator, and court-appointed early neutral evaluator, in divorce and family law cases throughout Minnesota. He frequently writes and speaks concerning divorce and family law issues, including several invitations to present seminars for the Minnesota Judicial Branch in St. Paul.

Beyond family law, Jason has represented hundreds of clients accused of a serious crime, including arson, fraud, unauthorized computer access, burglary, felony strangulation and obstruction of justice. He also provides estate planning services.

Local media appearances by Jason include WCCO Radio, KARE 11 Television, Fox 9 Television and WCCO Television. His national media appearances include NBC News, Time Magazine, USA Today and the Huffington Post.

Jason is the former chairperson of the Family Law Section of the Minnesota Trial Lawyer’s Association, and taught divorce and family law coursework within the paralegal program at North Hennepin Community College. He publishes the Minnesota Family Law Blog, which has been recognized as a “Top 25″ by the Minnesota State Bar Association.

Outside of the office, Jason enjoys playing the bass and electric guitar and spending time in the north woods of Wisconsin.

Areas of Practice
  • Divorce
  • Custody
  • Adoption
  • Restraining Orders
  • Prenuptial Agreements
  • Criminal Defense
  • Estate Planning
Notable Cases
  • Representation of Four Grandparents in Minnesota’s First Quad-Parenting Adoption
  • Representation of Client in Minnesota’s First Same-Sex Divorce
Bar Admissions
  • Minnesota State Bar, 2000
  • US District Court – District of Minnesota, 2002
  • William Mitchell College of Law, 2000
  • Minnesota State University, Mankato, 1997
Joined Firm
  • 2003
Professional Associations & Activities
  • Minnesota State Bar Association
  • Presenter, Various CLE Courses
  • Monthly Columnist, Minnesota Lawyer Newspaper