How to Avoid Being Overcharged by Your Divorce Lawyer


When going through a Pasadena divorce, the last thing you want to discover is that your attorney is over billing for his services.

Sometimes, if your case turns out to be more complicated than what was first expected, your attorney fees may be higher because of the added work that is involved. However, your attorney should always be able to explain the additional charges. If you are seeing charges for meetings that never took place or charges for the work of other attorneys who you never authorized to work on your case, this is definitely a red flag. Another common concern is when an attorney is charging several hours of billable labor for simple tasks such as writing a letter.

If you disagree with your lawyer regarding his fees for your divorce, write a letter explaining your objections and send it by registered mail so you have proof that you are not merely ignoring the invoice. Once your lawyer reviews your letter, you will either receive an invoice for a smaller amount or the lawyer will stand by the amount of the original invoice.

If you are unable to resolve the issue by working directly with your attorney, the State Bar's Mandatory Fee Arbitration Program (MFA) can help. The MFA resolves disputes over fees between clients and their lawyers in an informal and confidential environment. Your lawyer is required to participate if you request MFA services.

To make a request for arbitration, you should contact the local County Bar program where the majority of your legal services were provided. In most cases, this is the county where your lawyer's home office is located.

Call the State Bar Office of Mandatory Fee Arbitration at 415-538-2020 for additional information regarding the arbitration process.

How Can We Help?

If you are in need of legal representation during your divorce, please call our office at (626) 683-8113 or email us at Our Pasadena matrimonial law firm has the skills and experience needed to help you obtain a fair divorce settlement as quickly and cost-effectively as possible.