One of the most common questions we get about divorce cases is asking how much a divorce costs. Every case is unique and has many unknowns, so it is difficult to say exactly how much you will spend on your divorce. Because of the large number of variables, we usually quote a broad range. An uncontested divorce could cost as little as $2,000 or as much as $6,000, and a contested divorce could cost anywhere from $6,000 and up to six figures. Variables include whether you have children, property, retirement accounts, and more.

If you are ready to divorce or your spouse has served divorce papers to you, contact a Worcester divorce attorney for a consultation.

Planning for Divorce Costs

When planning for divorce costs, you might consider several factors over and above those previously mentioned, including:

  • How cooperative your spouse will be=
  • How cooperative you are
  • How cooperative your spouse’s attorney will be
  • How much discovery will be necessary for your attorney, depending on how much your spouse provides and whether you believe your spouse is hiding assets
  • Any information your spouse tries to hide

Cases that are seemingly simple could turn out to be very difficult, especially those cases with property, a business, children, and a spouse asking for spousal support.

24+ years experience

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Divorce Mediation, & Family Law Attorney in Worcester, MA

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Hi, my name is Polly Tatum…

I help couples divorce with dignity (without going broke) and protect what they care about most through divorce mediation. I want to help you minimize the financial burden of divorce while maximizing your satisfaction with the outcome.

As with most things in life, the more prepared you are, the better off you’ll be.

Whether you have already begun the divorce process or you are just beginning to have these conversations with your spouse, you have come to the right place.

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What Are Some Unexpected Costs of Divorce?

If everything goes smoothly and the case remains uncontested, the cost is much lower. If the case starts contested, but you end up settling during mediation, the costs are often significantly lower than a case that goes to trial.

Some unexpected costs of divorce include:

  • Disagreements over time-sharing with the children
  • Disagreements over child support
  • One spouse hides assets or sells assets just before the divorce or during the pendency of the divorce
  • Disagreements over retirement accounts
  • Disagreements over a spouse’s interest in a business owned by one or both spouses
  • Constantly responding to petty requests from one spouse or the other

Almost all of these situations require hearings before the court unless you and your spouse can agree on a solution the attorneys come up with. Every time a situation must go to a hearing, the attorney must prepare for the hearing, schedule the hearing with the court and the other attorney, send out a notice of hearing, attend the hearing, and draft the order pursuant to the court’s ruling.

Benefits of Mediation

You might be involved in a contentious divorce and believe that your spouse would never settle. However, if you and your spouse can come to an agreement with the help of a mediator on many of the situations you couldn’t previously resolve, you could significantly reduce the cost of your divorce.

Benefits of mediation include:

  • Reducing overall divorce costs
  • Reducing the amount of time it takes to complete your case
  • Eliminating a final hearing that could take hours or even days
  • Having a better chance of getting what you want
    – If the court rules on a situation, you might not like what the court ruling is. For example, if you cannot agree on a time-sharing schedule regarding your children, the court might order the basic time-sharing schedule for every other weekend and every other holiday, but you likely want more time. If you are able to make some concessions to your spouse, whether in property division or another situation that is not a deal-breaker for you, you could wrangle more time with the kids than the court would order.

While mediation could take an hour or several hours, it is ultimately less expensive than going to trial—and you are more likely to get what you want in certain situations. For example:

  • Keeping the house is a deal-breaker—you want to keep it
  • Spousal support is not a deal-breaker, but you would rather not pay it

You might agree to short-term spousal support in exchange for your spouse signing over their interest in the house. An experienced Worcester divorce attorney can help you determine the best course of action prior to mediation based on the value of equity in your assets and which assets are more likely to increase in value.

Finding the Best Worcester Divorce Lawyer for You

When looking for a divorce lawyer, you should look for someone who has plenty of experience in several areas, including property division, spousal support, mediation, and litigation. Getting divorced is a major life change, both emotionally and financially, and it is something that you want to get right so you do not regret some of your decisions in the future. An experienced Worcester divorce lawyer can advise you on some of the better actions to take.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who Pays for a Divorce in Massachusetts?

Typically, each party pays their own attorney. However, in certain circumstances, one spouse might pay the other’s attorneys fees. The court considers the parties’ behavior during the divorce proceedings, whether one person hid assets, and the ability or inability of each spouse to pay attorney’s fees.

How Much Does Divorce Really Cost?

Depending on each person’s unique situation, a divorce could cost anywhere from $2,000 to $20,000 or more. The average contested divorce in Massachusetts per person is approximately $15,000 without a trial, and $50,000 and up if the case goes to trial.

Will Divorce Ruin Me Financially?

This depends on your actions. When we draft a settlement agreement or the court enters an order on property division, the documents note which spouse retains which liabilities. Additionally, the spouses have the responsibility to file the appropriate documents for title and deed transfers.

If you and your attorney do everything correctly, you are less likely to suffer financial ruin in a divorce.

Contact a Worcester Divorce Attorney

When an experienced attorney works on your divorce case, they ensure that any agreements you have with your spouse are in writing with clauses that allow you to re-open the case based on certain allegations, such as not paying child support or not turning over a deed or title to assets.

If you are considering divorcing or your spouse has already served you with divorce papers, contact a Worcester divorce attorney for a consultation and to learn more about your rights.

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