Our Attorney Rates and Fees

We keep our attorney fees very simple for clients – so there are no surprises or confusion.

Many law offices will charge for every minute you speak on the phone, every email, text message and so forth. Our office does not charge or even track communication and client support to charge fees. We feel this creates a barrier between the attorney and client. We want to speak to you, as often as you need. Divorce is a difficult process and communication is very important. We don’t want you create a situation where you need to rush a phone call or avoid a call to save money.

Many law offices also charge per photocopy, fax, and office supplies. During your divorce, our law office does not charge you for office supplies, faxes and so forth required for your case. We use electronic versions of most documents and assure you have access to copies. If you were to contact us after the divorce and need all copies of your files, that would be the time we may need to pass along the expense. In most cases, our electronic versions and copies will avoid those expenses. We keep all records on file in PDF and other electronic formats.

What do we charge our clients for? We do charge an hourly rate for our legal services and any other items we need to pay on your behalf, such as required court filing fees. We keep our clients fully aware of all ongoing fees and expenses. If we estimate your divorce will cost $3,000 to $5,000 and that changes at any point, you will be the first to know. There will not be any surprises that we have not agreed upon.

Do you offer discounted rates? We do offer discounts to veterans/military families and on a case-by-case basis.

What is the cost of a divorce in Massachusetts? During our initial consultation – we will determine if your case requires traditional divorce proceedings or can be resolved through a mediation. A mediation is an affordable alternative and the price ranges between $1,000 to $1,500. If your case is more complex – our firm aims to keep our divorce cases between the $3,000 to $5,000 range. If you research the generally accepted cost of a divorce — you will find that it is somewhere between $15,000 and $20,000. Keep in mind this applies to the amount of assets you own. The more  you own, the more costly it is to protect and divide your assets. These divorces usually involve high-value real estate, complicated child custody issues and/or diversified assets.

If both parties can come to an agreement, divorce mediation is a preferred  alternative to a traditional divorce. The average price range is $1,000 to $1,800. Click here to view the steps involved in a mediation and pricing.

How long does a divorce take? The generally accepted time frame is about one year. This is highly dependent on how effective your attorney or mediator is in facilitating a fair agreement. My most recent case was resolved and filed in court in less than 2 weeks.

Our law firm does provide options for every situation. We are able to provide a one-day divorce option where all parties appear in a court in the Caribbean. In the U.S. all divorces in Massachusetts have a 120 day waiting period. In the Caribbean your divorce is legal and binding on the same day. This is helpful for special tax implications. Another benefit of Caribbean divorces is that your records remain private – which is why many celebrities will choose this option to prevent media and the public from accessing their divorce paperwork. On average, a one-day divorce in the Caribbean costs around $5,000 including all legal fees, airfare, hotel and transport.

Why does it become so expensive? This is due to the need for costly analysts, appraisals, and pension fund experts. You can get away without spending less on your divorce, but far too often these situations end up costing far more over the course of a lifetime. It is important to educate yourself and make decisions you will be happy with 5-10 years from now.

Another key difference in costs is whether the divorce is collaborative or adversarial. You really need to come to agreements and avoid arguing. The additional expenses come when an agreement is not reached and your decisions need to be negotiated by the attorneys and judge.

Click here to read some tips to save thousands of dollars during your divorce

 

Are there other alternatives? If both parties agree to a collaborative divorce or mediation — fees can be limited to the $1,000-$1,500 range. Our office always promotes the most cost effective solution for your situation. Our initial meeting will determine the path in your best interests. Every case is unique and my job is to educate you on your options so you can make the best situation for you and your family. The real long-term cost of divorce is usually not being properly educated on all of your options and possible outcomes.

Do it right, the first time. We often receive cases handed-off where individuals did NOT fully understand the legal and financial consequences and had unfair or poorly drafted settlements. Hidden taxes, child care costs, depreciating assets and a budget that cannot withstand the pressures of inflation will cause people to literally go bankrupt as a result of divorce. Do it right the first time. Do not rush the divorce. The cost of an attorney, or court costs, pale by comparison over time.

Attorney Amy Saunders, Esq.
Law Offices of Amy Saunders
Westwood, MA
Bridgewater, Massachusetts

Office: (508) 659-0043


 

In accordance with the rules of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, this website must be labeled as advertising.  This article reviewing the cost of divorce in Massachusetts is intended to provide only general information for readers and is not a substitute for legal advice or a legal opinion on any specific facts or circumstances.  In using this site, you understand and acknowledge that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the attorney.