Why are retainers so high?


If you have started the process of calling lawyers, you'll find that most lawyers initially charge $3,000 or more to start your case.  And that's just the beginning.  When your $3,000 runs out, they will want more. 

Often spouses and parents ask me why are retainers are so high in Illinois?  The answer is somewhat involved, but once you break down what a lawyer must do in a case, you will quickly understand why some lawyers will charge a high initial payment, and how it's easy to avoid the high cost and expensive litigation.

First, let start off with your typical divorce lawyer.  Most family law attorneys work within a office that employs staff, sometime multiple lawyers, several paralegals, secretaries, and other office "overhead."  This all costs a lot of money, and someone has to pay for it (that would be you).  There's little incentive for a lawyer to offer you a service that is anything other than the expensive cookie cutter approach to a divorce or custody dispute.

The "cookie cutter" divorce lawyer will immediately start work on disclosures and discovery which is very time intensive work.  "Discovery" is a term that describes the most expensive part of the case where lawyers exchange information, like bank statements.  The problem is that you will be giving your spouse's attorney the same bank statements that your spouse is giving to your lawyer.  Dumb, right?  It's a complete waste of time and money, but lawyers seldom tell their clients because "it's required."  


But one thing that many people don't know is that discovery (or parts of it) can be waived.  That's right!  You can simply agree with your spouse that you both don't want to waste several thousands of dollars taking part in a process that is absolutely not necessary to get a fair result.


It's important to note that you'll never hear someone say that they were so glad they spent thousands of dollars on discovery because they found valuable of assets that they previously didn't know about.  


What you will hear are people saying that their case was too expensive and they had no idea why its costs so much.   

If you're looking to save yourself thousands of dollars in the process, call Mr. Nordini today.  You can reach Paul Nordini at (630) 416-6600.