How Divorce Attorneys Bill Their Clients
Most divorce attorneys collect a retainer fee (which functions as a deposit) and bill their clients "by the hour." In other words, the client pays an initial deposit that the attorney holds in a trust account. As the attorney works on the client's case they bill the client according to the attorney's hourly rate. At the end of each month, they send an invoice to their client that reflects the attorney's hourly rate multiplied by the total number of hours worked by the attorney for that month. Shortly after the invoice is sent the attorney withdraws that amount from the client's "retainer fee."
If The Divorce Attorney Didn't Charge A Retainer Fee And The Client Files Bankruptcy
However, some divorce attorneys take the risk of working on their client's case without a retainer fee. In that scenario, the attorney hopes that the client will pay their bill, but there's no guarantee. Unfortunately, if the client files chapter 7 bankruptcy - usually due to debts other than attorney fees - the general unsecured attorney fees will be discharged in a chapter 7 bankruptcy.