family court filing fees in massachusetts

Understanding Probate and Family Court Filing Fees in Massachusetts

Table of Contents

Probate and Family Court filing fees can be a perplexing subject, often causing confusion for those navigating the legal system. Whether you’re seeking divorce, dealing with adoption matters, or addressing issues related to estates and guardianship, understanding these fees is crucial. In this article, we’ll break down the intricacies of Probate and Family Court filing fees, offering clarity on various procedures and costs involved.

See also  Nantucket Probate and Family Court

Overview

The Probate and Family Court filing fees are essential for various legal procedures. It’s important to note that these fees don’t include citation or summons fees, which are separate costs. Additionally, if there are publication costs, the petitioner or plaintiff is responsible for covering them. Even when there’s no initial filing fee, other charges, such as citation, summons, or copy fees, may apply.

If you’re entering a complaint, petition, or another civil action with both an initial filing fee and a separate docket number, you must also pay a $15 surcharge to the Register. Notably, no surcharge is required for adding a suffix.

All payments should be made payable to the “Commonwealth of Massachusetts.” For detailed information on other court procedure charges, consult the Uniform Schedule of Fees.

see also Vineland Municipal Court

Abuse and Prevention Fees

Abuse Prevention/Abuse Protection

  • Filing Fee: No Fee
  • Surcharge (if applicable): N/A

Disabled Abuse Petition

  • Filing Fee: No Fee
  • Surcharge (if applicable): N/A

Elderly Abuse Petition

  • Filing Fee: No Fee
  • Surcharge (if applicable): N/A

Accounts Fees

Allowance of Account, Petition

  • Filing Fee: $75
  • Surcharge (if applicable): $15

Amended/Substituted Account

  • Filing Fee: $75
  • Surcharge (if applicable): N/A

Render an Inventory or Account, Petition

  • Filing Fee: $75
  • Surcharge (if applicable): N/A

Adoption Fees

Dispense with Consent to Adoption, Petition

  • Filing Fee: No Fee
  • Surcharge (if applicable): N/A

Complaint/Petition

  • Filing Fee: No Fee
  • Surcharge (if applicable): N/A

Bonds and Surety Fees

Filing of a Subsequent Bond

  • Filing Fee: $75
  • Surcharge (if applicable): N/A

Leave to Bring Suit on a Bond

  • Filing Fee: No Fee
  • Surcharge (if applicable): N/A
See also  Dukes Probate and Family Court

New Bond, Petition

  • Filing Fee: $75
  • Surcharge (if applicable): N/A

Demand for Sureties

  • Filing Fee: $75
  • Surcharge (if applicable): N/A

Discharge of Surety, Petition

  • Filing Fee: $75
  • Surcharge (if applicable): N/A

Modification of Bond, Petition

  • Filing Fee: $75
  • Surcharge (if applicable): N/A

Reduction of Bond, Petition

  • Filing Fee: $75
  • Surcharge (if applicable): N/A

Change of Name Fees

Motion – in divorce actions only, during Nisi period

  • Filing Fee: $100
  • Surcharge (if applicable): N/A

Petition

  • Filing Fee: $150
  • Surcharge (if applicable): $15

Domestic Relations and Paternity Fees

Affirmation of Marriage, Complaint

  • Filing Fee: $200
  • Surcharge (if applicable): $15

Alimony, Complaint

  • Filing Fee: $100
  • Surcharge (if applicable): $15

Annulment, Complaint

  • Filing Fee: $200
  • Surcharge (if applicable): $15

Complaint for Custody-Support-Parenting Time

  • Filing Fee: $100
  • Surcharge (if applicable): $15

Complaint for Paternity

  • Filing Fee: $100
  • Surcharge (if applicable): $15

Complaints to establish paternity or for custody-support-parenting time and modifications filed by the IV-D agency

  • Filing Fee: No Fee
  • Surcharge (if applicable): N/A

Convey land as if sole

  • Filing Fee: $150
  • Surcharge (if applicable): N/A

Divorce, Complaint

  • Filing Fee: $200
  • Surcharge (if applicable): $15

Enforcement of Foreign Decree – Alimony only

  • Filing Fee: $100
  • Surcharge (if applicable): $15

Grandparent visitation, Petition

  • Filing Fee: No Fee
  • Surcharge (if applicable): N/A

Marriage without delay

  • Filing Fee: $180
  • Surcharge (if applicable): $15

Modification of all non-child related issues

  • Filing Fee: $150
  • Surcharge (if applicable): N/A

Modification of Foreign Custody or Support Decree, G. L. c. 208, s. 29 – except for those actions filed by the IV-D agency for which there is no filing fee

  • Filing Fee: $100
  • Surcharge (if applicable): N/A

Modification relative to child support, custody and parenting time – except for those actions filed by the IV-D agency for which there is no filing fee

  • Filing Fee: $50
  • Surcharge (if applicable): N/A

Registration of Foreign Custody Decree

  • Filing Fee: No Fee
  • Surcharge (if applicable): N/A

Removal, Post-Judgment

  • Filing Fee: $50
  • Surcharge (if applicable): N/A

Separate Support

  • Filing Fee: $100
  • Surcharge (if applicable): $15

Support of spouse or child pursuant to G. L. c. 209, § 32F, Complaint

  • Filing Fee: No Fee
  • Surcharge (if applicable): N/A

Temporary restraining order against a spouse related to a complaint for divorce or separate support

  • Filing Fee: No Fee
  • Surcharge (if applicable): N/A

Equity Fees

Complaint

  • Filing Fee: $240
  • Surcharge (if applicable): $15

Complaint related to separate support or the custody or support of minors

  • Filing Fee: $100
  • Surcharge (if applicable): $15
See also  Lawrence Probate and Family Court

Complaint to Correct Birth Record

  • Filing Fee: $240
  • Surcharge (if applicable): $15

Partition, Petition

  • Filing Fee: $240
  • Surcharge (if applicable): $15

Restrain a Personal Representative, Complaint

  • Filing Fee: $240
  • Surcharge (if applicable): N/A

Specific Performance, Petition

  • Filing Fee: $240
  • Surcharge (if applicable): $15

Temporary Restraining Order/Injunction

  • Filing Fee: $100
  • Surcharge (if applicable): N/A

Guardian and Conservator Fees

Appointment of Conservator or for Single Transaction, Petition

  • Filing Fee: $240
  • Surcharge (if applicable): $15

Appointment of a Guardian, Petition

  • Filing Fee: No Fee
  • Surcharge (if applicable): N/A

Expand, Modify, Limit Powers of a Conservator, Petition

  • Filing Fee: $150
  • Surcharge (if applicable): N/A

Expand, Modify, Limit Powers of a Guardian, Petition

  • Filing Fee: No Fee
  • Surcharge (if applicable): N/A

Foreign Conservator Sworn Statement

  • Filing Fee: $75
  • Surcharge (if applicable): $15

Removal of a Fiduciary

  • Filing Fee: $100
  • Surcharge (if applicable): N/A

Resignation of Conservator or Guardian, Petition

  • Filing Fee: No Fee
  • Surcharge (if applicable): N/A

Termination of Conservator or Guardian, Petition

  • Filing Fee: No Fee
  • Surcharge (if applicable): N/A

Subsequent Letter

  • Filing Fee: $25
  • Surcharge (if applicable): N/A

Appointment of a Receiver of the Estate of an Absentee, Petition

  • Filing Fee: $200
  • Surcharge (if applicable): $15

Appointment of Special Personal Representative, Petition

  • Filing Fee: $375
  • Surcharge (if applicable): $15

Appointment of a Trustee, Petition

  • Filing Fee: $375
  • Surcharge (if applicable): $15

Approval of Compromise, Petition

  • Filing Fee: $75
  • Surcharge (if applicable): N/A

Care of Burial Lot

  • Filing Fee: $60
  • Surcharge (if applicable): N/A

Closing Statement

  • Filing Fee: $75
  • Surcharge (if applicable): N/A

Counsel Fees, Petition

  • Filing Fee: $150
  • Surcharge (if applicable): N/A

Determination of Value, Petition

  • Filing Fee: $75
  • Surcharge (if applicable): N/A

Erection of Monument

  • Filing Fee: $60
  • Surcharge (if applicable): N/A

Filing a will for Safekeeping – except that no additional fee shall be charged for filing a will in substitution for a will previously filed and withdrawn

  • Filing Fee: $75
  • Surcharge (if applicable): N/A

Filing of a Declaration of Common Trust Fund

  • Filing Fee: $400
  • Surcharge (if applicable): $15

Foreign Personal Representative Sworn Statement

  • Filing Fee: $75
  • Surcharge (if applicable): $15

Formal Probate of Will, Adjudication of Intestacy and Appointment of Personal Representative, Petition

  • Filing Fee: $375
  • Surcharge (if applicable): $15

Formal Appointment of Successor Personal Representative, Petition

  • Filing Fee: $375
  • Surcharge (if applicable): $15

Formal Removal of Personal Representative, Petition

  • Filing Fee: $100
  • Surcharge (if applicable): N/A

General Petition, Probate

  • Filing Fee: $150
  • Surcharge (if applicable): $15

General Petition, Trust

  • Filing Fee: $375
  • Surcharge (if applicable): $15

Informal Probate of Will and/or Appointment of Personal Representative, Petition

  • Filing Fee: $375
  • Surcharge (if applicable): $15

Informal Appointment of Successor Personal Representative, Petition

  • Filing Fee: $375
  • Surcharge (if applicable): $15

Leave to Deposit Certain Funds

  • Filing Fee: $200
  • Surcharge (if applicable): N/A

Order of Complete Settlement, Petition

  • Filing Fee: $75
  • Surcharge (if applicable): N/A

Payment of Deposits, Petition

  • Filing Fee: No Fee
  • Surcharge (if applicable): N/A

Public Administration, Petition

  • Filing Fee: $100
  • Surcharge (if applicable): $15

Removal of a Fiduciary

  • Filing Fee: $100
  • Surcharge (if applicable): N/A

Resignation of a Fiduciary

  • Filing Fee: No Fee
  • Surcharge (if applicable): N/A

Representation of Insolvency

  • Filing Fee: $150
  • Surcharge (if applicable): N/A

Small Estate Closing Statement

  • Filing Fee: $75
  • Surcharge (if applicable): N/A

Supervised Administration, Petition

  • Filing Fee: $375
  • Surcharge (if applicable): $15

Termination of Trust, Petition

  • Filing Fee: $240
  • Surcharge (if applicable): $15

Vacate a Formal Order, Petition

  • Filing Fee: $150
  • Surcharge (if applicable): N/A

Voluntary Administration, Statement

  • Filing Fee: $100
  • Surcharge (if applicable): $15

Fees for Sale, Lease, or Mortgage of Real or Personal Estate by Any Fiduciary

Leave to Lease Real Estate

  • Filing Fee: $75
  • Surcharge (if applicable): N/A

Leave to Mortgage Real Estate

  • Filing Fee: $75
  • Surcharge (if applicable): N/A

Sale where the gross value accounted for is $100,000 or less

  • Filing Fee: $100
  • Surcharge (if applicable): N/A

Sale where the gross value accounted for is more than $100,000 but not more than $250,000

  • Filing Fee: $250
  • Surcharge (if applicable): N/A

Sale where the gross value accounted for is more than $250,000 but not more than $500,000

  • Filing Fee: $500
  • Surcharge (if applicable): N/A

Sale where the gross value accounted for is more than $500,000 but not more than $1,000,000

  • Filing Fee: $750
  • Surcharge (if applicable): N/A

Sale where the gross value accounted for is more than $1,000,000

  • Filing Fee: $1,000
  • Surcharge (if applicable): N/A

Miscellaneous Fees

Amendment of record – except as relates to separate support, adoption, or the custody or support of minors

  • Filing Fee: $60
  • Surcharge (if applicable): N/A

Certificate of Orders, Decrees, Rulings, Judgments, or Other Proceedings

  • Filing Fee: $20 + $1 per page for each page except the first
  • Surcharge (if applicable): N/A

Citation, order of notice, or precept

  • Filing Fee: $15
  • Surcharge (if applicable): N/A

Commission to take Depositions

  • Filing Fee: $20
  • Surcharge (if applicable): N/A

Copy, Attested – of court documents and records, including docket sheets or other papers in possession and under the control of the Register

  • Filing Fee: $2.50 per page
  • Surcharge (if applicable): N/A

Copy Unattested – of court documents, records, or other papers in possession and under the control of the Register

  • Filing Fee: $0.05 per page
  • Surcharge (if applicable): N/A

Exemplified copies

  • Filing Fee: $50 + $1 per page for each page except the first
  • Surcharge (if applicable): N/A

General Petition – except as relates to custody or support of minors

  • Filing Fee: $150
  • Surcharge (if applicable): $15

Summons

  • Filing Fee: $5
  • Surcharge (if applicable): N/A

Summons for Contempt

  • Filing Fee: $5
  • Surcharge (if applicable): N/A

Tape Cassette or CD recordings of proceedings

  • Filing Fee: $50.50 + postage per 90 minutes of recording or part thereof
  • Surcharge (if applicable): N/A

Transcript of a Judgment

  • Filing Fee: $50 + $1 per page for each page except the first

These fees are essential for various legal procedures in the Probate and Family Court. It’s important to understand the specific charges that apply to your situation to ensure a smooth process. For more information on fees or specific procedures, consult with your local court or legal counsel.

see also How To Get A Free Lawyer For Family Court

Conclusion

Navigating the Probate and Family Court can be complex, and understanding the filing fees is just one part of the process. Whether you’re dealing with divorce, adoption, or other legal matters, being informed about these fees is essential for a successful outcome.

FAQs

  1. Do I need to pay filing fees for abuse prevention cases?
    • No, there are no filing fees for abuse prevention or protection cases.
  2. How are filing fees determined for accounts related to estates?
    • Filing fees for accounts depend on the gross value accounted for in Schedule A of the account, with varying fees based on the value.
  3. Is there a fee for changing one’s name?
    • Yes, there is a fee for changing your name in the Probate and Family Court, and it varies depending on the circumstances.
  4. Are there any fees associated with guardianship or conservatorship appointments?
    • Yes, there are filing fees for appointments of guardians and conservators, which can vary depending on the type of appointment.
  5. What should I do if I have questions about specific fees or procedures?
    • For detailed information on fees or procedures, it’s advisable to consult with your local court or seek legal counsel.

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