Many people do not want to pay a big retainer to get through their divorce. Mediation divorce costs are much lower than cases which end up in court. For one thing, they probably intuitively know that it is unlikely that the case will settle before their entire retainer is used up. If they have divorced friends who have talked with them about their experience or they went though their own divorce, then they know it is exceedingly rare for a case to settle before the retainer is earned by their lawyers.
My billing practices are a la carte. I only require a payment for services specifically scheduled. At each step along the way my clients can choose how to proceed. If my clients are not satisfied with my skill level or the quality of my services, then they are not locked in by a big retainer. After my first session, I quote the next levels of services but my clients do not pay me until the work is firmly scheduled.
I rely on satisfied customers to refer new clients and my business success is based on exceptional results. When we settle a case is entirely up to my clients and my fees have no bearing on the case being “dragged out” till my retainer is spent down. When my clients spend less to divorce, they are happier and so am I.
If you are resistant to paying a large retainer, for any reason, then consider the benefits of an a la carte practice.