Whether you’re the husband or the wife, the bread winner or the stay-at-home parent, cost is typically a factor in consideration of a divorce. At some point during every consultation, a person turns to me and says “So, what’s this going to cost me?” My response is always the same: “That’s a tough question!” There is a way to answer that question, though not definitively, if you understand the process of divorce and what’s to come in the future. The cost of divorce in Massachusetts is a difficult question to answer, but there are some things we can guide you on that will help you prepare.
We already know that you will proceed in your divorce by filing either a joint petition or a complaint for divorce. If you file a joint petition, you work with your spouse, alone or through counsel, to negotiate a fully inclusive agreement. If you file a complaint for divorce, there is at least one point on which you and your spouse cannot agree.
For a joint petition, many attorneys will determine what works need to be accomplished and then quote you a fee that will be all inclusive of the process. You will pay this fee and you will not pay additional fees. This will include drafting an agreement, drafting all the other documents for filing, filing the documents and In some cases, where it is difficult to anticipate whether a joint petition is possible, the attorney may charge you hourly until such time as it becomes clear that the joint petition can be filed.
In a complaint for divorce, you will make the initial filing. Depending on the facts and circumstances of your case, you may attend a motion hearing for temporary orders. There may discovery (a sharing of information) to be done at this point. A four way conference is held to prepare for the pre-trial conference. If the case cannot be resolved, a trial date may assigned In the midst of all those dates, it may be necessary for further motion sessions, additional discovery, etc. Each case is fact dependent. Counsel can assess what steps may be likely in your case to determine the minimum amount of fees. In some cases, counsel can tell you what is anticipated. However, there are a lot of paths that this type of case can take.
As you can see, in most cases, there is no way to tell you exactly the cost of divorce in Massachusetts. There is a way to tell you the minimum cost. There is a way to tell you anticipated costs. Because there is no guarantee as to what your spouse will do or as to certain circumstances that may occur, it is tough to anticipate completely what will happen in some cases. Always be clear with your attorney as to what you anticipate and be open to the fact that this process sometimes doesn’t follow an exact road map.
Contact us to discuss your case. We will do our best to assess your case and give you a fact based estimate of costs.
Stay tuned for “New Hampshire Divorce: What is this going to cost?”