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Posted: 6/5/2009 2:12:42 PM EST
My parents are helping my older sister get a divorce in TX but the attorney wants $3000 up front. Is this normal?

We live in Missouri and this makes my parents a little nervous to hand over so much . Is it possible to put it into an Escrow account till my parents are satisfied that the attorney is doing their job?

I know nothing about divorces so any advice is helpful.

By the way, the guy is a total tool. He has been out of work for over a year and won't look for a job to help support his wife and 2 kids. My sister is the only one working right now and get verbally abused by the guy.

Thanks in advance
Link Posted: 6/5/2009 2:27:34 PM EST
Any kids involved???

Any major property involved??

If not you shouldn't have to spend 3k to get it resolved.
Link Posted: 6/5/2009 2:27:43 PM EST
Link Posted: 6/5/2009 4:59:42 PM EST
You may find it hard to believe, but a lot of divorce clients stiff their lawyers. Eventually, lawyers learn to get money up front, just to sort out the time-wasters, and to make sure they don't have to hire a collection agency to chase down deadbeat clients.
Link Posted: 6/6/2009 1:36:37 AM EST
Originally Posted By Stealth52650:
Any kids involved???Yes, 2 both under the age of 10

Any major property involved??Nothing more expensive than a 5 yr old car

If not you shouldn't have to spend 3k to get it resolved.


Link Posted: 6/6/2009 4:21:39 AM EST
Originally Posted By Bigler:
My parents are helping my older sister get a divorce in TX but the attorney wants $3000 up front. Is this normal?

We live in Missouri and this makes my parents a little nervous to hand over so much . Is it possible to put it into an Escrow account till my parents are satisfied that the attorney is doing their job?

I know nothing about divorces so any advice is helpful.

By the way, the guy is a total tool. He has been out of work for over a year and won't look for a job to help support his wife and 2 kids. My sister is the only one working right now and get verbally abused by the guy.

Thanks in advance


The money should be put into the attorney's trust account and not moved into the operating account until it is earned by the attorney. It is always possible to terminate your attorney and get back any unearned money left from the retainer if they aren't satisfied with the job that he is doing.

The amount seems in line with what I would expect in a case where the divorce/custody/distribution of property/support would be contested. If it ends up being uncontested then it probably will not cost $3000 and (unless this is a flat fee) you would get the remaining retainer returned.

If you are nervous about the amount, shop around. I know that your family is in Missouri so it makes it more difficult to talk to attorneys in the area, but all attorneys have different rates that they will charge. Be careful about picking just the rate though, cheaper is not always better. Try to ask people who you knew in the area if they have dealt with any of these attorneys before and who has a good reputation.

Link Posted: 6/10/2009 12:13:44 PM EST
An attorney can only receive money from a client when the fee is "earned". No way anyone "earns" $3k up front. Have the atty use the $3k as a retainer and place it in his trust account and bill against it.
Link Posted: 6/13/2009 10:53:50 AM EST
Originally Posted By davidwiz:
An attorney can only receive money from a client when the fee is "earned". No way anyone "earns" $3k up front. Have the atty use the $3k as a retainer and place it in his trust account and bill against it.


There is no indication that this is not exactly what the attorney is doing.

While attorneys occasionally abuse there trust accounts, if they are caught they are often disbarred.
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 2:27:04 AM EST
I paid 4k upfront on my divorce. However, I got the best, because I had kids involved. It worked out good for me, and the lawyer, well he was just elected D/A

Link Posted: 6/18/2009 8:05:30 AM EST
find the best lawyers in town get consultations by all of them thereby leaving your ex a bunch of douche lawyers. Thats what happens in Florida.
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