Are You Making Your Divorce More Expensive?
Obtaining a divorce always comes at a high cost, both in terms of the emotional toll it takes, and the hard hit taken on your finances. In a recent study ranking each US state according to the costs involved to obtain a divorce, including the initial cost of filing and other court costs, New Jersey was ranked second only to California. While some expense to obtain a divorce is inevitable, there are certain behaviors which can cause costs to climb unnecessarily. If at all possible, avoid the following ways that you may be adding to the expense of your divorce:
Turning to the court over each dispute with your former spouse: It can be frustrating to try and obtain compliance with court orders and payment schedules from an obstinate ex-spouse, and you may need the judge’s help to get the things to which you’re entitled under your divorce settlement. However, try to avoid approaching the court for an additional order until you’ve exhausted all other options. Each time you go before the court, you can expect hundreds of dollars in accompanying expenses in the form of filing costs, as well as expenses incurred by your attorney in drafting and arguing motions. While you can include a request for attorneys’ fees in your motion, you’re by no means guaranteed to receive them. While your attorney will take all necessary steps to avoid billing you excessively, there is a substantial time commitment required to draft, file, and argue motions before a court.
Failing to reach an agreement on as many factors as possible before going to court: Most couples considering divorce have trouble agreeing on much of anything, let alone reaching a custody-sharing agreement or division of property at the end of their marriage. Finding a way to work out the most serious disputes before going to court can save you thousands of dollars—a fact that can be significant to both of you while you’re still pooling your finances. If you’re finding it impossible to reach an agreement, an attorney can help you navigate these agreements informally to save you from the much more expensive process of fighting before the judge.
Prolonging your divorce out of hope that you can salvage your marriage: It might not seem logical, but there can be an impulse among parties who are unwillingly going through a divorce to fight over every issue in an effort to stay married for as long as possible. The reality is, a prolonged and expensive fight is highly unlikely to endear you to an estranged spouse. Focus on rebuilding your future (financially and otherwise), rather than fixing the past.
If you are in search of compassionate and cost-conscious legal assistance with your New Jersey divorce, annulment, or child custody dispute, contact the skilled Union family law attorney John B. D’Alessandro for a consultation on your claims, at 908-964-0102.