After 20 plus years of working for firms and arguing against opposing counsel seeking that my client pay their attorney fees I can say that the fees charged/billed by law firms and attorneys will be one of the most important issues of any family law case.
I urge you to read with scrutiny the contract your attorney seeks for you to sign. In the area of Family Law there is never a need to sign a contract that is weighted in favor of the attorney such as a nonrefundable retainer/initial deposit or a flat fee advance payment contract. There are many attorneys who use a refundable retainer hourly rate contract. These contracts will identify the amount paid upfront, the per hour rate and the frequency/time you are billed at.
My retainer is $1400.00. I bill at the rate of $280.00 per hour and charge in (:15) fifteen minute increments for cases in Boone, Winnebago, DeKalb, Ogle, and Stephenson counties. Cases for child support enforcement or enforcement of employer income withholding penalties have the option to be paid on a contingency fee basis with no upfront retainer.