How Much Will it Cost?

At McNinch Law Firm, we like to be very transparent about cost. Family law can be complex, but we do our best to help each client understand the financial aspects of working with our firm.

Cost of a Consultation

We charge $350.00 for Consultation Meetings and we accept cash, checks, and credit and debit cards. If the meeting takes place on Skype, FaceTime, or by phone, we a can accept a check, credit card, or debit card payment prior to the meeting. If the meeting takes place on Skype, FaceTime, or by phone, payment must be made prior to the meeting.

Cost of a Case

During the Intake Interview, potential clients often ask, “How much does a case like mine cost?” This is one of the most common questions people have when seeking legal services in family law cases.

Our team is generally not allowed to quote prices for any type of case during the Intake Interview call. Through much experience, we have determined there is no way to provide even generally accurate price quotes for cases after brief discussions on the telephone. More detail is required to provide estimates for fees and expenses. That is one reason we have a Consultation Meeting with each potential client before entering into an Attorney-Client Employment Agreement.

So, “How much does a case like mine cost?” Our answer is, “It depends on the facts of the case.”

Why we can’t Quote Prices Based Solely on the Case Type

More work usually means more fees and costs. There is no limit to the number of unpredictable things that could affect the amount of work needed to complete a family law case.

Sometimes the opposing party is very difficult to work with. Sometimes the opposing attorney is very difficult to work with. Sometimes witnesses are difficult to find. Parties can be difficult to serve with court papers. In some cases, there are thousands upon thousands of documents to review and examine to determine parties’ assets and liabilities. The complex emotional issues that arise in family law cases make things difficult, to say the least. All of these complexities and complications can lead to an increase in the amount of work a legal team must perform to get the job done.

In most Mississippi court districts, the judges’ dockets are overcrowded, which means longer waiting, which drags cases out, which creates longer time periods when life causes changes. Changes mean more work.

Sometimes circumstances change during the course of a trial, and the parties don’t finish in the time allotted, which means they have to go back to court to finish the trial at a later time. We once had a case that was supposed to take one day in court; we ended up spending four. Three extra days of trial led to additional fees and expenses.

Sometimes clients’ cases present new legal issues that the law doesn’t provide for, and the courts (and possibly the attorneys) haven’t seen the precise issue before. The novelty of a case can mean more research, more preparation, and more unpredictability.

The list could literally go on and on.

We try to estimate the cost of a case based on our experience in similar cases, considering the facts of each case. However, it is frequently impossible to predict the total cost of a case, even after a Consultation Meeting, because of the issues and people involved. Therefore, even if we hazard a guess as to what the ultimate cost of a case will be, it is frequently a very rough estimate.

Pricing Options

In family law cases, there are typically two types of pricing options, retainer arrangements and flat-fee arrangements.

  • Retainers

Retainer-based arrangements consist of a client depositing money in a firm’s account, and the firm billing against those sums at hourly rates for each billing professional. A statement is sent to the client each month, detailing the time spent on the case and the amount charged for each activity. Our firm tends to use mostly retainer-based arrangements. At our firm, the amount of a retainer can vary from $3,000 to $10,000 or more, depending on the complexity of the case and the unpredictable factors discussed previously on this page. In most retainer arrangements, when the initial deposit starts to run low, our firm will ask the client to deposit more funds, to avoid a debtor-creditor relationship between our client and our firm.

  • Flat-Fee Arrangements

Although some law firms use only flat fees, we have found that, in our experience, only a limited number of family law cases actually lend themselves to flat fees. Flat fees are sometimes proposed as pricing options with our firm, but they are not our normal financial arrangement.

Contingency Fees not Allowed in most Family Law Cases

Some civil cases are handled with contingency fees. Essentially, that means the client has no financial obligation to the attorney unless the case is won in court or the case is settled out of court. Mississippi rules generally prohibit contingency fees in family law cases, such as divorces.

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ALTERNATIVE RESOURCES

We understand that different prospective clients can have different available resources. For those potential clients who cannot afford to pay for a consultation can contact the following groups to inquire about low-cost legal services:

Mission First
275 Roseneath Ave, Jackson, MS 39203
Phone: (601) 608-0050
www.missionfirst.org

Mississippi Volunteer Lawyers Project
1635 Lelia Dr #101, Jackson, MS 39216
Phone: (601) 960-9577
www.mvlp.net

Disclaimer: McNinch Law Firm, PLLC (“McNinch Law Firm”) maintains this website to provide general information about McNinch Law Firm, its attorneys and staff, and the services they provide McNinch Law Firm’s clients. This website and the materials presented here have been prepared by McNinch Law Firm for informational purposes only and are not legal advice, nor should they be construed or interpreted as legal advice. Likewise, information generated, disseminated, or distributed from this website or through third-party sites, such as social media Internet sites, is provided solely for informational purposes and is not legal advice. McNinch Law Firm does not accept requests for legal services through this website or through emails generated through this website. This website, in some instances, uses the term, “you” in a general sense. These references do not pertain to any particular person, including but not limited to a reader of this website. Nothing presented on this website constitutes or creates an attorney-client relationship.