How Much Does a Divorce Really Cost?
Few would dispute that the cost of divorce is high. It is a cost that is paid financially and emotionally by couples, their children, and their families.
It’s no secret that divorce in New Jersey is an expensive undertaking. Even when a separating couple is on amicable terms and works together to expedite the process, the costs can pile up. Read on to learn more about what expenses are foreseeable in a divorce proceeding and how you can lower the cost of your divorce by taking a few important steps.
What costs go into a divorce?
While there are many costs that most people prepare for during a divorce, there are some less-known expenses that can drive up the cost of your divorce. Knowing what some of the expenses involved during the divorce proceedings are – even those not directly related to the divorce but are secondary impacts of the proceedings – can help you budget wisely.
Cost of Housing During Divorce
One expense that must be taken into consideration during your divorce is how you will handle housing. Generally, the separating spouses do not stay together in their marital home, and one moves out. As such, the additional accommodation during and after the divorce will need to be taken into consideration. It is the role of a divorce attorney to support you in maintaining the lifestyle you had before the divorce during the divorce proceeding and afterward by negotiating the proper division of marital assets to that end. Having the support of an experienced and skilled family law attorney, then, cannot be undervalued.
Divorce Retainer and Attorneys Fees
An additional cost that goes into divorce and is expected by a divorcing spouse but is often greatly underestimated is the divorce attorney’s fee and retainer. In addition to paying a retainer at the beginning of the legal representation, you will be required to continue paying a legal fee. If you and your spouse have an amicable relationship, funds for these legal fees can be initially obtained by splitting savings in a joint account before the divorce proceedings have been completed; however, if there are not shared funds to cover these expenses or there is disagreement about how to divide such funds, alternative methods of making those payments would need to be sought, perhaps leading to necessary interest payments and other drivers of the additional cost.
How do I reduce costs during a divorce?
While there are methods in place to support a spouse who does not have the funds to cover legal fees – for example, the option for a spouse to apply for pendente lite support, removing the burden of the absence of sufficient funds during the divorce process, and providing temporary spousal support – there are other ways to lower costs during a divorce.
Some of the best ways to reduce the cost of divorce seem like obvious ways to engage the process but are difficult to obtain when emotional tension exists between a couple. The number one way to reduce costs is to expedite the process, and the way to do this is to be an active collaborator. To be an active collaborator, you must view the divorce as the process of terminating a legal contract between two people on the same team.
When possible, keep emotional jabs out of it, and seek separate support to address emotional and mental repercussions that are normal and natural effects of such a process.
Practice Clear and Nonviolent Communication
A byproduct of viewing the divorce in as objective terms as possible and tending to emotional support systems that may be needed is that communication between the spouses will improve; however, actively practicing clear and nonviolent communication is also key to expediting the divorce proceedings and therefore reducing costs. Clear and collaborative communication is also necessary with your divorce attorney and their team.
Provide Clear and Pertinent Information and Documentation
Providing the team any pertinent information and documentation that could inform the proper division of assets is essential; withholding information to protect what you consider to be personal assets will only lead to problems later. Finally, recognize that your attorney works for you and responds to your requests; thus, be clear and specific when you make requests to your legal team. Don’t hesitate to ask questions when you’re unclear of your divorce’s procedural or case management element. When in doubt, be proactive. This active engagement and collaborative spirit will provide for a more peaceful and swift process.
CONTACT OUR LITTLE FALLS, NJ DIVORCE LAWYERS TODAY – WE ARE HERE TO GUIDE YOU EVERY STEP OF THE WAY
At The Montanari Law Group, our experienced team of family law attorneys is passionate about supporting our clients across Paterson, Clifton, West Milford, Woodland Park, Little Falls, and Passaic County in all matters of divorce and custody law.
Our approach is unique and holds the emotional and financial wellbeing of our clients as our highest priority. We work to find a swift and effective resolution to the dissolution of marriage that our clients are satisfied with.