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You can always try requesting a refund for the unused part of the retainer. Whether you get it, or not, will depend on the specifics of your case. Typically, your ability to get the unused part back, depends on the terms and conditions of the retainer agreement signed with the attorney. Some attorneys charge a flat fee, or flat retainer, and will not refund any of it. They sign this agreement, because it guarantees them a certain amount of money – and in addition, it protects you. By signing this agreement, they are guaranteeing you – not to charge any more money, regardless of how many hours they spend. They are taking a huge risk, by doing this, potentially – depending on the complexity of your case. As a result, for this risk – they believe they are entitled to the full retainer.
Some attorneys, who are more flexible, may elect to refund your money. If your retainer was given, and the hours of work done are deducted from the retainer – then you probably can ask for a refund.
At the end of the day, it all depends on what the retainer is paying for. If the retainer is simply an advance, on the hours of work the attorney will provide – it’s a lot easier to ask for a refund from the divorce attorney.
If the retainer was paid, as a flat fee basis of billing – then it’s going to be much more difficult to get a refund.
At the end of the day, if you need more help, we encourage you to speak to one of our NYC divorce lawyers today.