How much does a domestic violence lawyer cost?
Ashburn, VA

How much does a domestic violence lawyer cost?

Ashburn, VA

How much does a domestic violence lawyer cost?

$250 – $450cost per hour

Get free estimates for your project or view our cost guide below:

$250 – $450 cost per hour

Get free estimates for your project or view our cost guide below:
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Tom Grupa
Written by
Tom Grupa

Average domestic violence lawyer cost

The average cost for a domestic violence lawyer is $250 to $450 per hour, depending on their experience and specialty, the law firm's size and prestige, and the complexity of your case. Domestic violence attorney fees also depend on if the case includes criminal charges, paternity rights, divorce, or child custody and visitation.

The term domestic violence covers a variety of types of abuse, including physical, sexual, verbal, and psychological.

The legal system in your state usually handles domestic violence cases in the criminal or family law court systems, and an attorney can get you the help you need to protect you and your family.

Alternatively, if you have been accused of domestic violence, the cost of not hiring legal help can be far higher in the form of fines, jail time, rehab, mandated weekly classes, probation, loss of child custody or visitation, loss of gun ownership, and the inability to get a job or housing, if convicted.

Domestic violence lawyer
Domestic violence lawyer
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Domestic violence attorney fees & services

Initial consultation cost

Some lawyers charge $150 to $400 per hour for the initial consultation, while others offer a free 20- to 30-minute consultation to give you the opportunity to see if they are a good fit for you.

Restraining orders

Each state has its own laws that determine which actions are considered domestic violence and which legal actions or penalties are warranted.

The attorney’s first action is to validate the evidence in support of a restraining order, and then to file an emergency or temporary restraining order. Sometimes this order can be made without the defendant being present.

There are several types of restraining orders, and each type puts different limitations on the perpetrator:

  • Do not come within fifteen feet of the victim—usually called a stay-away order.

  • Make zero attempts to communicate with the victim.

  • Move out of the home/communal property.

  • Have limited visitation time with children.

  • Cannot own or purchase a firearm—it is up to each state to enforce this law.

A judge will make the final decision regarding the initial restraining order. The judge will base their ruling on the risk of future harm, agreement by all parties, and hardship if the order isn’t lifted.

Additional costs

After your immediate safety is taken care of and the first protective order hearing takes place, your attorney will help you file for divorce or child custody, press criminal charges, or take other actions:

  • Divorce cost

  • Child custody

  • Criminal charges for significant violence

  • Permanent restraining order

  • Canceling or shortening a restraining order

Many of these actions require more time in court, increasing the total attorney fees.

Variable fees

While most attorneys charge one hourly rate for everything they do, including phone calls, filing, research, and court time, some attorneys split the costs for their time, charging a lower hourly rate for the work a paralegal does on your case.

While the attorney's fee may be $450 per hour, they may bill $125 per hour for paralegal work, resulting in an average rate of $275 to $325 per hour.

Free legal services and nontraditional law

Attorneys, especially those fresh out of law school, frequently donate hours of their time to represent domestic violence victims or offer legal aid at free or discounted prices. This is called "pro bono" work.

Some domestic violence victims are concerned their case won’t be given the same level of attention because they are in a same-sex or LGBTQ relationship. More and more lawyers now specialize in LGBTQ or nontraditional law. If you are a victim of domestic abuse, don't hesitate to reach out to lawyers in your area for help.

Good questions to ask a domestic violence lawyer

Ask these questions to ensure you find the best domestic violence lawyer near you.

  • In how many cases have you represented a domestic violence victim, and how many of those cases do you feel turned out well?

  • What’s your strategy for my case?

  • Do you charge less for work your office staff do?

  • What do you estimate the final cost to be?

Ultimately, the goal of any domestic violence situation is to ensure the immediate safety of you and your family, and secondly, to ensure everyone’s long-term safety. A good attorney will cover all your bases and make sure that end goal becomes your reality.

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