Mediation & more

Out of court solutions are often the best ones. Learn more about mediation, collaborative law, and other alternative dispute resolution. Learn more about mediation, collaborative law, and alternative dispute resolution.

Fixed Fee Services & Coaching

“Unbundled” legal services, coaching, or Limited Appearance Representation (LAR). Learn  about how this could work for you…

Guardianship, Adoption & Surrogacy Agreements

Are you a caregiver? We can help. Read here for info on adoptionguardianship, conservatorship, artificial reproductive technology, and surrogacy agreements.

AN EASY GUIDE TO OUR COSTS

Suffering through a major life upheaval is painful. You shouldn’t have to worry about the cost of representation exceeding your budget. Unlike other firms that do family law work, we offer flat fees, unbundled legal services and installment plans when we can.

Initial Phone Call – No charge!
If you’re unsure if Esser Kent is able to represent you, feel free to call our office before scheduling a consultation.

First Consultation (1 hour)
Because of the time and effort we put into getting to know you, we do not offer free initial consultations. However, in our first meeting, we will offer a 50% discount on the first hour. 

Billing and Hourly Rates $300/hour
We will charge and bill for the actual time spent on your case. If a task is performed by a legal assistant or paralegal, you are charged an administrative or paralegal rate, rather than the attorney’s rate. The billable rate includes all the costs of running a law office (overhead, salaries, non-excessive paper copies, internet). Our rates are competitive with those of other Western Massachusetts law firms.

Most legal services are billed hourly, however in some instances when appropriate we can charge a flat fee – see below.

FAMILY LAW FEES

Preparation of  Separation Agreement: $700-1000
This includes drafting of document, review/signing meeting, and one round of revisions.

Preparation of Divorce Filing Forms: $165-250
This includes drafting of Joint Petition and related documents and review/signing meeting.

Preparation of Financial Statement: $175-500
This includes drafting based on information  provided by client, review meeting, advice about best practices, and one round of revisions.

Attendance at Uncontested Divorce Hearing: $500-1000
In Massachusetts a Joint Petition for Divorce is presented at an uncontested hearing for approval by a Judge. An attorney can assist in this hearing by preparing you for what to expect and answering any questions the Judge may ask about your agreement.

Preparation of a Pretrial Memorandum: $600-1200
Before your case goes to trial it must be “pretried” before the Judge. The Judge requires you to list all of your contested and uncontested issues, along with witnesses and exhibits, in a memo that meets certain requirements. This memo must be submitted before the pretrial conference.

Preparation of Motion for Temporary Order: $500-3000

Affidavits
Often you need to summarize the facts and evidence in your case succinctly and powerfully. We will help you to write your own affidavit or draft it for you. Depending upon the complexity of the affidavit, costs will range from $300 to $1500.

Discovery 
When your case is in court you can get information from the other party. These written requests are called “discovery.” We can work with you to write discovery requests in order to get you the information you need to make your case. Costs will depend upon the number of issues and complexity of your case.