Ann Fabrikant, Esq.NJ Divorce and Family Law Attorney
Divorce is downright expensive. Let’s be clear on this. Conflict is one of two factors contributing to the cost of divorce, complexity being the other. A key difference between those two is that conflict is far more subjective and emotional. How the two of you get along will directly affect how much a professional will charge you. Bear that in mind as you read on to learn about the cost of divorce: with or without an attorney.
What factors contribute to the cost of divorce?
The one immutable fact here is that there will be a cost to your divorce. While we’ve pointed out that no two divorces are alike, there are still a few factors that will impact that cost.
- Conflict. What is a divorce after all, if not a conflict? Its resolution is what makes the difference. Will there be a degree of discord that will hamper proceedings? Or will there be cooperation? So many key choices and decisions stand to be affected.
- Complexity. There can be a lot of moving parts to the divorce “machine”. What sort of details or intricacies will each of your respective lives bring to the equation? The complexities of your case must be sorted out by a capable divorce attorney before you can have an idea of what this will cost you.
- Location. What state or county do you live in? In this case, we are only talking about New Jersey. This state, it’s laws and rules, will have its own contributing factors just as any state in the union would.
- Who and how? Who will be handling your case? In other words, the attorney you hire will obviously have input when it comes to what your divorce will cost you. Furthermore, the divorce method or option you choose will make a big difference.
What does divorce cost WITHOUT an attorney?
Individuals who choose to seek divorce without legal counsel are most likely hoping it will make the process inexpensive, easy and fast. What many learn, too late of course, is that those three words can be rather costly. Simple details tend to slip through the cracks without professional oversight. Those details are not cheap and could end up costing more to “fix” in the long run.
- Life insurance can act as security for child support obligations in a divorce. Failure to attend to this could lead to financial hardship should a parent die without life insurance.
- Terminology is the domain of an attorney. An attorney will know the difference between sole legal custody and joint legal custody. Should you not, the dramatic difference between the two types of custody will prove to be a major setback.
- Resuming your maiden name during divorce and everything is fine and dandy. Just try to do so after the divorce is over and strap in for more loss of time and money.
Even distributing retirement accounts comes into play. You two had planned to share your future, your whole future, together. Don’t forget this because that is the full extent of what divorce can cover. Attempting a divorce without an attorney is called a DIY, or Do It Yourself, divorce. DIY start at $300, which is just the court’s filing fees, and could be more depending on how complex your case is. Should you decide not to hire an attorney, you may find yourself relying on the internet or a software program to sort out the legal and financial issues that arise. The most expensive part of a DIY divorce is the money you spend in the future trying to address issues not in your Judgment of Divorce or change terms agreed to that no longer favor you. (ReadOnline Divorce Is No Substitute)
What does divorce cost WITH an attorney?
You’ve decided to contact an attorney. Let us briefly address what sort of expenses you are looking at. It is most important to remember that once you are represented by an attorney, you are on the clock. He or she will be communicating on your behalf. This includes phone calls, e-mails., letters, meetings, court appearances and the like.Every occurrence of communication in that list is a chargeable item, which is determined once you call this office and set an appointment. There will be a retainer to discuss up front. Guess how that figure is arrived at? Don’t be surprised when your old friends ‘conflict’ and ‘complexity’ show up. A lawyer will determine what he or she needs for the retainer based on the issues, the ability of the parties to communicate, the complexity of the case and a general feel based on experience of how the case will go. So when you call this office to make an appointment, consider your two C’s: conflict and complexity. Clearly, many a calculation in this process includes these two variables. Try to avoid all figurative thinking when asking what these matters cost and try to remember that all cases are different and may have different costs!