Divorce is a tricky thing. There’s paperwork, lawyers, and the anxiety of dealing with your future-ex. On top of all that, there’s a financial toll that comes with the process, which begs the question:
How much does a divorce cost?
The short answer is that cost depends on the terms and process of your divorce, and can vary from a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands of dollars.
The stress of divorce is a difficult one to bear. Don’t go it alone – contact our Westchester County divorce attorneys today, either online by calling (914) 873-4410.
The main factors that affect the cost of divorce include:
- Whether your divorce is contested or uncontested
- The filing fees for your state
- The complexity of the divorce
- The cost of your attorney
Contested vs. Uncontested Divorce
In a contested divorce, the two parties do not agree on some manner of the dissolution. This could be the financial terms of the divorce, who was at fault, details regarding the division of assets, or even disagreements over the process itself.
When the parties cannot reach a settlement prior to trial, they will be required to present their case before a judge, who will ultimately determine how the divorce is settled. When dealing with large assets or child custody, this can be particularly devastating if the outcome is not in your favor.
In an uncontested divorce, each party is willing to settle amicably. It is inherently cheaper than its contested counterpart, as it does not involve as many hours with legal professionals. It also does not lead to a trial, which can save both time and money.
Have questions regarding contested or uncontested divorce? Contact our experienced Westchester County divorce attorneys at Friedman & Friedman today.
Filing Fees in New York
In order to process a divorce, the state must file a variety of paperwork:
- “Summons With Notice” – specific terms of the divorce, and summoning orders to begin the divorcing process
- “Affidavit of Defendant” – document in which the defending party agrees to the terms in the aforementioned summons
- “Judgement of Divorce” – document signed when the Judge has approved the divorce
Each of these comes with a minimum filing fee, and can fluctuate depending on the written details of the divorce. In the state of New York, each must be filed at the Supreme Court Clerk’s Office, and costs a current minimum of $335.
Complexity of the Divorce
No matter what type of divorce you file for, there is one thing the process will always cost you: time. Time spent filling out the proper paperwork, time spent preparing a case for trial, time spent reaching a settlement… it all takes time. For this reason, it’s imperative that you retain the services of an experienced divorce attorney who can help you expedite the process as much possible.
Cost of a Divorce Attorney
Each divorce attorney has their own cost per hour, and a variety of factors impact this cost, including location, complexity of case, and attorney experience.
When it comes down to it, there are truly only two financial factors that matter for calculating the cost of your divorce: state filing fees and the cost per hour of your legal representation. The rest simply affects the number of hours involved with your case. Minimizing the time spent on your divorce can be a huge cost saver.
However, going the cheapest route in filing for divorce – such as self-representation - is not always the best option, as the outcome will have long-lasting effects on your life. For this reason, we recommend that you align yourself with a legal professional who can guide you through every step of the process.