Tulsa Attorney BlogHow Much Does It Cost to Go to Court for Child Custody in Oklahoma?

Each Attorney Charges Their Own Rates

 

Video Transcribed:  How much does it cost to go to court for child custody in Oklahoma? I’m Tulsa family attorney James Wirth, and I’m answering frequently asked questions, and that’s one of the questions we have up.

How much does it cost? Well, there’s multiple costs involved. If you’re going to represent yourself, and you don’t have an attorney, and you know how to draft your own paperwork, then the only cost you really have to pay is going to be the court’s filing fee. When we pay those, of course filing fee for a petition for custody or divorce or paternity is $272.14.

But most people aren’t going to be in the position of handling custody case in Tulsa. You’re probably asking about other costs like the cost for an attorney. Each attorney charges their own rates. For the most part, people doing family law cases, where there’s a custody battle, they do it on a retainer.

It’s not a flat fee where you know the total cost upfront. It’s a retainer where you pay a certain amount of money to get the Tulsa attorney in the case, and then that money builds up hourly for work that’s done. Different attorneys charge different retainers upfront and charge different hourly rates.

A case with my office, typical retainer in family law case might be $2,500. Different attorneys in my office bill at different rates, anywhere from 175 an hour to $350 an hour, depending on their experience and specialties.

That may answer your question on that. For certain types of cases though, you may have attorneys that do flat fees. If it’s an agreed divorce, my office does agreed divorce, including if child custody is involved for a flat fee.

A typical flat fee we charge for that would be $1,250, but that requires the parties have an agreement on all terms, so an agreement to get divorced, an agreement regarding asset division, debt division, custody, visitation, child support, alimony, all of those things. If there’s a complete agreement, some attorneys will do a flat fee on those. We will, but as far as the total cost, if there’s not an agreement, it’s not a flat fee in a retainer, it can vary widely.

It depends on how much work goes into it because these attorneys are billing hourly, and there could be additional costs. If you have to do a deposition, you got to pay a court reporter, if you need more evidence, you need a PI, you need a private investigator helping out.

If you go to mediation, which mediation in Tulsa County is required before you get a trial date, you’ve got to pay the mediator’s fee. If you need a custody evaluation, then you need to pay a custody evaluator. If you need to appraise the value of a house, then you need an appraiser to handle that for you. You might need a parenting coordinator. You might need a guardian ad litem.

There’s all kinds of different costs could go into that in addition to the filing fee and the attorney fee. Depending on how litigated it is, the cost can vary as far as the total cost based on the total number of hours that the attorney puts into the case.

But every case is unique. You’re going to want to talk to somebody about your specific case and circumstances. If you want to talk to somebody in my office, you can go to makelaweasy.com.

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