Initial One-Hour Consultation Price – 1/2 of our regular hourly rates for the first hour:

Justin L. Kelsey, Owner – $200 for initial consult

Beth Aarons, Of Counsel – $150 for initial consult

Valerie Qian, Associate – $125 for initial consult

Jennifer Hawthorne, Associate – $125 for initial consult

Julie Tolek, Associate – $100 for initial consult

We offer a one-hour initial consultation for all of our practice areas.

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Free Initial Phone Call – $0

If you’re not sure if you need an initial consultation, or just want to discuss hiring us without a consultation, then you can schedule a free 10-15 minute phone call.

schedule a brief call

 

Two-Hour Assessment Consultation – $600

If you’re not sure whether mediation, collaborative law, attorney negotiation, or court representation is what you need we also offer an Assessment Consultation. Our Assessment Consultation is not about hiring our firm. It is solely about evaluating your circumstances, conflict style, and needs, to help you choose the resolution process that is most likely to result in success for your dispute.  If you’d like to take an online quiz first to obtain more information about your options click here.

We encourage both parties to a dispute to attend these Assessments. Upon request we will agree that this Assessment disqualifies our firm from any further representation to ensure that our focus is only on the best process for your needs going forward.

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Initial Consultation & Assessment

Initial One-Hour Consultation Price – 1/2 of our regular hourly rates for the first hour:

Justin L. Kelsey, Owner – $200 for initial consult

Beth Aarons, Of Counsel – $150 for initial consult

Valerie Qian, Associate – $125 for initial consult

Jennifer Hawthorne, Associate – $125 for initial consult

Julie Tolek, Associate – $100 for initial consult

We offer a one-hour initial consultation for all of our practice areas.

schedule a consult

 

Free Initial Phone Call – $0

If you’re not sure if you need an initial consultation, or just want to discuss hiring us without a consultation, then you can schedule a free 10-15 minute phone call.

schedule a brief call

 

Two-Hour Assessment Consultation – $600

If you’re not sure whether mediation, collaborative law, attorney negotiation, or court representation is what you need we also offer an Assessment Consultation. Our Assessment Consultation is not about hiring our firm. It is solely about evaluating your circumstances, conflict style, and needs, to help you choose the resolution process that is most likely to result in success for your dispute.  If you’d like to take an online quiz first to obtain more information about your options click here.

We encourage both parties to a dispute to attend these Assessments. Upon request we will agree that this Assessment disqualifies our firm from any further representation to ensure that our focus is only on the best process for your needs going forward.

schedule an assessment
Hourly Rates for Skylark Team

Hourly Rate Services can include case assessment, investigation, information discovery, advice, negotiation, mediation, option generation, legal research, education, coaching, drafting, and court representation.

Hourly Rates for our Staff:

Collaboratively trained Attorneys & Mediators:

Justin L. Kelsey, Owner – $400 per hour

Beth Aarons, Of Counsel – $300 per hour

Valerie Qian, Associate – $250 per hour

Jennifer Hawthorne, Of Counsel – $250 per hour

Julie Tolek, Associate – $200 per hour

Staff Mediator:

Melissa Gonzalez, Office Manager & Mediator – $75 per hour

Some of the hourly services can be replaced with the flat fee services described further below, but many of them are too variable to offer for a flat fee. For reference we have also provided some of our typical hourly ranges for different services so that you can estimate your potential needs.

Divorce & Family Law – Flat Fee Services

Typical Joint Petition Divorce Services:

Preparation of a Separation Agreement – $1,000  Includes drafting of document based on memo or direction provided by client, review/signing meeting, and one round of revisions.  Does not include negotiation or multiple rounds of revisions, which can be paid for hourly.

Preparation of Divorce Filing Forms – $250  Includes drafting of Joint Petition and related documents and review/signing meeting.  Does not include Separation Agreement or Financial Statement Drafting.

Including the preparation of a Separation Agreement and Massachusetts Joint Petition Filing Fee ($215), a full joint petition for divorce filing including only the services described above would cost a total of $1,465.

Additional Services:

Preparation of Financial Statement – $500  Information for Financial Statement must be provided by client.  Includes drafting based on information provided by client, review meeting, advice about best practices, and one round of revisions.  Does not include multiple rounds of revisions.

Attendance at Uncontested Divorce Hearing (representation only) – $500-$1,000  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.  When we are acting as the mediator for a case we cannot attend the hearing, but can recommend mediation-friendly attorneys who can review the agreement and attend the court hearing with you.

Attendance at Court for an uncontested hearing by Valerie Qian, Jennifer Hawthorne or Julie Tolek is at a cost of $500 per hearing (or hourly depending on client preference).

Attendance at Court for an uncontested hearing by Justin L. Kelsey or Beth Aarons is at a cost of $1,000 per hearing (or hourly depending on client preference).

Divorce & Family Law – Hourly Rate Services

How much a Divorce or other family law case costs depends on how difficult the conflict is and how complicated the issues are.  In addition, some processes are more expensive than others:

Mediation Services:  While we cannot guarantee how many hours a case will take, our typical divorce mediations average 10-15 hours.  We typically schedule two hour mediation meetings, and your card is only charged after the meeting for the total time of that meeting.

As an example:

If your mediation case takes five two hour sessions (10 total hours) with mediator Valerie Qian ($250 per hour) then the total cost would be $2,500 for the mediation.  If Valerie also prepared the Joint Petition paperwork and Agreement for the flat fees described above ($1,000 and $250), then your total cost including the filing fee ($215) would be $3,965.

LitigationNo-one can guarantee how much a case in court will cost.  One of the driving factors is how many court hearings are required.  A trial can easily cost $50,000 per person and often more, but most cases settle prior to trial.  At Skylark our goal is to have as many meetings outside of court as possible because these meetings are more likely to reach settlement and reduce the unpredictable costs of court.

As an example:

If a divorce case requires two full court hearings (a Motion for Temporary Orders and a Pre-Trial Conference) then each party should budget 8 hours of time for each of those hearings, and the same amount of time in preparation for those hearings (8 hours minimum each).  At an hourly rate of $250 per hour the cost could easily be $8,000 (32 hours multiplied by $250 per hour) and this doesn’t include the cost of discovery, advice, legal research, etc.

Attorney Negotiation:

For that same price you and the other side could meet 16 times for 2 hours per meeting.  Even if you allot 2 hours in preparation time for each meeting that’s still 8 meetings.  It’s unlikely that most cases would require that many meetings, even when highly contested, so the value of trying to resolve outside of court is obvious.

Collaborative Divorce: Just like the other processes, it’s impossible to guarantee how much a Collaborative Divorce case will cost in total.  A good estimate is that each 2 hour joint meeting will additionally take 2 hours of preparation.  If a case takes 6-8 meetings (average) then the cost is similar to effective attorney negotiation as described above.  However, the focus of collaborative divorce is on providing greater value to the relationships that are part of the conflict.  To learn more about the value provided in Collaborative Divorce click here.

QDROs & DROs – Flat Fee Services

Skylark Law & Mediation, P.C. offers flat fee preparation of QDROs and DROs, and we also offer hourly consulting services to ensure that Divorce Agreements contain the necessary language for the proper division of a retirement account.  To request a QDRO or DRO preparation follow the 3 Simple Steps outlined on our QDROs page.

The Flat Fee Options are:

Option 1 – Cost: $400.00 – Preparation of QDRO only. Does not include any additional documents or assistance with court filings. If you choose this option, you will be responsible for: submitting the QDRO for preapproval to the plan administrator, drafting and submitting the Motion to the court, and submitting the final document to the plan administrator. This option is best if you are working with attorneys who will walk you through these steps.

Option 2 – Cost: $600.00 – Preparation of all QDRO Documents and pre-approval: Includes preparation of QDRO, Joint Motion to Approve QDRO and submission to plan administrator for pre-approval. Does not include any assistance with court filings. If you choose this option, you will be responsible for: submitting the Motion and QDRO document to the court and then to the plan administrator yourself.

Option 3 – Cost $800.00 – Full Service: Preparation of QDRO, Joint Motion to Approve QDRO and submission to plan administrator for pre-approval. Once the QDRO is pre-approved our office will assist with obtaining everyone’s signatures, submit the documents to the court for the Judge’s signature and then submit the document to the plan administrator for implementation. This option is best if you don’t want to involve an attorney further to assist you.

Wills & Estate Planning – Flat Fee Services

While we offer flat fee services for wills and estate documents, these flat fees are for relatively simple estates only. If your estate is likely to involve estate taxation issues or complicated planning for different types of trusts, then we can assist at an hourly rate.

Simple Estate Packages:

Individual Simple Estate: 1 Will, 1 HCP, 1 POA – $1,000 total
Couple Simple Estate (no trust): 2 Wills, 2 HCP, 2 POA – $2,000 total
Couple Simple Estate (w/ trust) – typically recommended for families: 2 Wills, 2 HCP, 2 POA, 1 Trust $2,500 – $3,000 depending on the type of trust

In the event you only need one of the typical documents we also price them separate if necessary:

Will  – $750 each
Health Care Proxy – $250 each
Power of Attorney – $250 each
Trust – $1,500 – $2,000 each depending on the type

Probate Filing & Mediation – Hourly Rate Services

How much probating a case costs depends on the size of the estate, whether there is conflict between heirs, and how complicated the issues are.  In addition, some processes are more expensive than others:

Probate Mediation Services:  While we cannot guarantee how many hours a case will take, we typically schedule two hour mediation meetings, and you are only charged after the meeting for the total time of that meeting.

As an example:

If your mediation case takes five two hour sessions (10 total hours) with mediator Beth Aarons ($300 per hour) then the total cost would be $3,000 for the mediation, plus any time necessary to prepare documents.

Probate LitigationNo-one can guarantee how much a probate case in court will cost.  One of the driving factors is how many court hearings are required.  At Skylark our goal is to have as many meetings outside of court as possible because these meetings are more likely to reach settlement and reduce the unpredictable costs of court.

Business Mediation – Flat Fee Services

Business Mediation Services – $400 – $800 per meeting:  While we cannot guarantee how many hours a case will take, we typically schedule two hour mediation meetings, and you are only charged after the meeting for the total time of that meeting (hourly rate of the mediator multiplied by the time taken).

Justin L. Kelsey, Owner – $400 per hour 

Beth Aarons, Of Counsel – $300 per hour

Valerie Qian, Associate – $250 per hour

Jennifer Hawthorne, Associate – $250 per hour

Julie Tolek, Associate – $200 per hour

This allows for very predictable mediation costs.  You can schedule a 2-hour mediation session with Justin L. Kelsey, Owner, and know that your total cost for that meeting is capped at $800.

 
Small Claims Mediation – Flat Fee Services

Small Claims Mediation – $150 meeting:  Small Claims is the section of the court involving claims between at least two parties in which one party is seeking money from the other and the total request is less than $7,000.   The cost of attending court, hiring an attorney, and the filing fee for small claims cases often adds up to more than the dispute.

At Skylark, we have a mediator on staff, Melissa Gonzalezwho has mediated small claims in numerous cases at the courthouse.  While Melissa is not an attorney, she is a trained mediator experienced in small claims mediation and is considerably less expensive than working with attorneys.  Melissa can be hired for small claims mediations at a flat rate of $150 for 1-2 hour mediation meeting, which is often sufficient to resolve these types of disputes.

Of course there is no guarantee that a matter can be scheduled in this meeting. Click here to learn more about mediation to decide if it would be a good fit in your case.

Trainings & Speaker Fees
Justin Kelsey, owner of Skylark, is available for speaking engagements and trainings.
 
Justin has participated as a panelist or trainer in over 30 training events, including presentations at MCLE, MCLC, MCFM, APFM, CDSC and for numerous other organizations both locally and nationally.  He has spoken on a wide range of issues including interest-based negotiation, custody and support jurisdiction, marketing, mediation, alimony, and collaborative law.
 
Speaker & Training Fees:
1-2 hour Workshop – $1,000*
Fully day or multi-day training – $2,500 per day*
 
*The above flat fees include all preparation time but do not include travel and lodging costs, which are also required for trainings outside of Massachusetts.  For non-profit and charitable organizations these fees may be negotiable.  
 
To hire Justin for a speaking event call 508.655.5980 or e-mail us.
 
Consulting Services

Justin Kelsey provides consultation services at his regular hourly rate of $400 per hour to lawyers and mediators for the following purposes:

  • Litigation Strategy, Mentoring, and Support
  • Mediation Mentoring
  • Collaborative Practice Mentoring
  • Practice Management Mentoring
  • Marketing & Social Media Mentoring
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We offer a flat fee (pricing described above) one-hour initial consultation for all of our practice areas.

schedule a consult

 

If you’re not sure if you need an initial consultation, or just want to discuss hiring us without a consultation, then you can schedule a free 10-15 minute phone call.

schedule a brief call