Divorce is one of those difficult issues that makes it hard to escape unscathed, your heart and your pocketbook are vulnerable. No matter how friendly your divorce is, it can often be filled with pain, anger and a number of uncertainties. How much does it cost or should it cost in 2020? According to high-profile divorce attorney Laura Wasser interviewed by Yahoo News, (she handled the divorces for Kim Kardashian and Angelina Jolie) the actual costs of getting divorced can vary widely.
The average price in the United States for a divorce per individual is $15,000. That number was verified from a survey done by Bankrate. Also it is important to be aware that this is a national average might fluctuate based on where you live and the cost of living. For example, in places like Los Angeles and New York City, a divorce attorney might charge anywhere from $600 to $950 an hour. Don’t forget the retainer, hiring a divorce attorney typically requires a retainer, or funds on file that the firm can draw from as they bill by the hour. In Wasser’s case, she requires a $25,000 retainer. In certain areas, you’re more likely to find an hourly rate that’s under or up to $500 and a retainer that’s closer to $5,000. At Amaral & Associates we require a retainer of between $ 3,500 to $ 10,000 depending on nature of the divorce.
So what do you get for your money? When hiring an attorney there is the paperwork to do, the forms do not cost anything but the cost of filing these forms in each state does. Most states require a filing fee, which could range from $300 to $450. In Massachusetts the filing fee for a divorce is $ 215 (Some states have waivers based on income level. In addition, how a divorce lawyer accounts for these fees can vary.)
Another issue that can impact the cost of your divorce is billing hours for the divorce attorney. Any phone call, written email or discussion with another associate about your case are considered billable hours. If a divorce lawyer must drive down to court, you’re paying for the driving time too. Then, if the lawyer must sit around in court waiting for the judge to call the case since nobody gets preferential treatment, that’s more billable time. You also might have to pay if additional people need to get involved, say a child custody evaluator or a forensic accountant.
What about divorce mediation or working with a divorce mediator? They are significantly less than a divorce attorney, the cost typically is around $7,000 to $10,000 total.). The great part about a mediator is that they serve as a neutral party who can apply the law and work on keeping you out of court
At Amaral & Associates we have a long track record of handling both divorces and mediations in the Boston area. In a high percentage of cases, disputed issues can be resolved through mediation, rather than drawn-out negotiations or litigation. Our lawyers are genuinely focused on helping families achieve manageable outcomes without escalating disputes unnecessarily. Our Mediation FAQ addresses some of the most common concerns about this process. Many clients choose our FIT™ Divorce Mediation Program, a comprehensive, flat-fee package of services available for approximately $999 per spouse. We can help you decide if this program is likely to work for you, while providing the clear, reliable information you need to evaluate other viable, cost-efficient options as well.
During the mediation process, a problem with custody and visitation, a financial issue or another Massachusetts family law challenge, you can count on us to guide and empower you every step of the way. Our work together can begin with a consultation, at no charge, in our Winthrop or Boston office. Please call 617-539-1010 or send us an email inquiry anytime.