287 Appleton Street, Suite 208, Lowell, MA
(978) 453-1044


What do I need to bring to my consultation appointment?
What you need to bring to a consultation will depend on the nature of your case. If you are just starting the process for divorce, or have any case that involves financial issues (e.g. alimony, child support) you should bring a copy of your prior year’s tax returns as well as a recent paystub from you and if possible, your spouse. We will also need a certified copy of your marriage certificate in order to file a Complaint for Divorce or birth certificate if you are seeking to file for a child born out of wedlock. If you are seeking to modify or enforce a prior Judgment, you should bring with you copies of all prior Judgments with the Court. If you are in the middle of pending litigation, you should also bring with you copies of all pleadings filed in the current matter. If you are unable to locate any of the prior Court filings, please let us know as we may be able to obtain them through the Court’s online database.

How long will my case take?
The Courts have issued time standards (Standing Order 1-06) wherein they anticipate a contested divorce action should be concluded within 14 months and a modification action should be concluded within 8 months. That being said, how long a case truly takes depends on a number of different factors including the level of cooperation between the 2 parties and the 2 attorneys, if applicable, the amount of discovery needed, contested issues, and the Court’s docket schedule.

How much will my case cost?
Much like how long you case will take, how much it will cost also depends on a number of variables including the level of cooperation between the 2 parties and the 2 attorneys, if applicable, the amount of discovery needed, contested issues and their complexity, and the amount of Court appearances. Discovery costs can escalate quickly if there are 3rd party trusts involved, business interests, or numerous properties. The average cost of a simple divorce in MA is $12K+ while the average cost of a divorce in NH is $9K+. Those costs escalate with disputes over alimony and property division, and even more so with custody disputes which average over $20K+.

While the cost of retaining an attorney and ensuing litigation may seem high, it is important to note that it is likely cost well spent. Should you try to cut corners or “DIY” divorce, you will undoubtedly overlook many important aspects that should be addressed in any divorce agreement. You also run the risk of the Court not approving your Agreement even if you and your spouse agree to all matters because the Agreement does not provide for required provisions that the Court needs to determine as being fair and reasonable. The decades of experience behind Armstrong Law, P.C. provides you with many protections on issues that you may not have otherwise thought. It is important to “do it right the first time,” as many times, you will be unable to “fix it” after the fact.

That being said, Armstrong Law, P.C. strives to be cost effective for its clients without compromising effective representation and our team approach to all cases allows for that.

Can I get my spouse to be responsible for my legal fees?
The American Rule of law provides that each party is responsible for paying his/her own attorney’s fees unless there is specific legal authority that allows for the assessment of those fees against the other party.

The type of legal authority that allows for such assessment usually involves wrongdoing on the other’s part. By way of example, M.G.L. ch. 215 §34A provides a legal presumption for the Court to assess legal fees against the other party if the Court finds that party in Contempt of a Judgment for monetary payment (e.g. nonpayment of child support or alimony). It is important to note however, that the amount of such an award is within the discretion of the Trial Court such that you may only receive a portion of what you have requested as reimbursement.

If you do not have the money to hire an attorney at the outset of a divorce, you may be able to receive an advance of your interest in the marital home to secure an attorney if there are resources/assets available to draw such funds e.g. equity line of credit, financial account in the other spouse’s name.
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