Questions about fees

How much does a divorce cost?
Is there a charge for the first telephone discussion or e-mail?
Is there a charge for the first meeting?

Fees for divorce services:

Who pays out-of-pocket expenses?
Are credit cards accepted?
Are payment plans offered?
Is there written agreement listing services and fees?


How much does a divorce cost?

It depends (you hate that answer, I know, but stick with me). The cost depends mainly on how much you both agree on things. And how much you agree determines what route you take—uncontested, unbundled services, mediation, or full representation.

If you have discussed all the issues and agreed on everything, you have an uncontested divorce. Your divorce will be quick and inexpensive.

Or maybe you just need some help along the way, like coaching and preparing documents. If so, you may want unbundled services (see below).

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Is there a charge for the first phone discussion?

No. I’d be happy to speak with you for a few minutes. Please call anytime. Or you can e-mail me and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.

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Is there a charge for the first meeting?

Yes. The first meeting lasts up to 90 minutes, and the charge is $150.

I know that some Massachusetts divorce lawyers don’t charge for the first meeting. And you may get some useful information that way. But be careful of a consultation that’s really a 20-minute sales pitch. For the lawyer to understand your situation, and for you to get a feel for the lawyer, you need to spend some time together. Our meeting will last up to an hour and a half.

Before we meet, you may want to prepare a list of items that you’d like to go over. It makes our time together more productive. When we meet, you and I will discuss all your options and likely outcomes.

When we talk, I’ll tell it to you straight. I don’t sugarcoat things just to make you feel better (the worst thing a lawyer can do). And I don’t pressure you. You may just want to discuss your options. That’s fine. It’s completely your call.

May I ask a favor ? If you truly want a junkyard dog to “teach him a lesson” or to “destroy that b****,” that’s up to you. But please do me a favor: call someone else. Thanks.

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Basic uncontested divorce: $1,200

You have a “basic uncontested divorce” if:

1.  You have no children and

2.  Neither of you owns any real estate and

3.  There is no alimony.

The fee covers:

  • Initial meeting up to 90 minutes
  • Preparation of divorce agreement
  • Preparation of joint petition for no-fault divorce, Probate Court financial statements, affidavits of irretrievable breakdown; all other papers needed to file a joint no-fault divorce.
  • Meeting to sign and notarize papers and to give you written guidance for court.

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Mediation: $1,450

The fee covers:

  • Two office meetings; the first is to discuss all the issues; the second meeting is to sign/notarize all the papers.
  • Ongoing communication needed to resolve all issues
  • Preparation of joint petition for no-fault divorce, Probate Court financial statements, affidavits of irretrievable breakdown; drafting of divorce agreement, all other papers needed to file a joint no-fault divorce.

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Unbundled services

The fee depends on the services that you want. Maybe you just want to meet once to get some advice. If that’s the case, it’s $150 for the first meeting.

It may be that you want me available for several months on an as-needed basis. If so, you pay only for only the services you need.

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Full-service divorce

If the traditional approach will work best for you, I advise you and represent you from the beginning until you’re divorced. The total fee depends mainly on the particulars of your case. As always, there is a written attorney-client contract outlining fees.

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Out-of-pocket expenses

Legal fees do not include out-of-pocket expenses, such as the $220 court filing fee. You are not billed for routine expenses such as copies, faxes, mileage, or parking.

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Are credit and debit cards accepted?

Yes. All credit and debit cards are accepted.
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Are payment plans offered?

Yes. Let’s face it, legal fees aren’t part of your regular budget. So if you need to make payments over time, I understand. You and I will work out a schedule that works for you. This can help, in a small way, to relieve some of the anxiety you may be feeling about life in general right now.
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Is there a written agreement listing services and fees?

Yes. Always.

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