The two most common questions we receive at our office are, “How much will a divorce cost and how long will it take?” This is a major concern for anyone going through a divorce in New Jersey. The answers you’d like to hear are “cheap and short,” but that isn’t always the case. It all depends on how quickly you and your spouse can come to a mutual agreement. By negotiating together, you can save costs on lawyers while also speeding up the entire process dramatically.
How Much Will a Divorce Cost?
Though there are filing fees, most of the cost of the divorce process comes from your attorney’s hourly rate. It’s not easy to predict the ultimate cost of a divorce from the outset – that will depend on how much time is spent negotiating and litigating, and that, in turn, depends on how quickly you and your spouse can come to an agreement.
You can help to keep costs down by minimizing contact with your attorney, as emails, texts, and phone calls can all count toward “billable hours.” If you’re concerned about keeping costs down, come up with a plan and stick to it; be efficient in communication; and be ready to compromise.
How Long Will a Divorce Take?
You and your spouse have the most control over this timeline. The quicker you exchange financial information, discuss the situation with any children, and come to an agreement with your spouse, the quicker the process will be over. Rare cases can settle in a day; many cases are resolved within three months; and some cases, with battling spouses in entrenched positions, go to trial, and could last up to two or three years.
While you will want to get through your divorce as quickly as possible – and a family law attorney can help you to do that – you can’t lose sight of what’s best for you and your children. Consulting an attorney can help you come to understand what you feel is worth fighting for and what might be open to compromise.