So Can I Really Get a Divorce For $399 – How to Select a Cost-Effectiv…

So Can I Really Get a Divorce For $399 – How to Select a Cost-Effectiv…

Today advertising proliferates promising a $399 divorce. Is such a thing already remotely possible? Probably not. For starters, in New York State court costs alone will go beyond $300. However, you can acquire the forms necessary to course of action an uncontested divorce at your local County Clerks Office or already easier off of New York States Office of Court Administration web-site. So, if you have no contested issues in your divorce, a cooperative spouse, and the willingness to do the paperwork, your total costs probably wont go beyond $400 (including subway or bus fare back and forth).

This article is for those of you who will need to hire a lawyer, either because you have
issues in contest, complicate assets or issues of child custody that require the skill of a family law specialist, or you simply want someone to do the legwork for you. And, if this is your situation, it should come as no surprise that youre not likely to get much in the way of personalized service or representation for $399.

The good news is, if youre prudent and sensible (and have a spouse who will be too), it may be possible to obtain a divorce without spending a fortune. By that I average you could get the job done in the range of $1,500 (in the simplest, most uncontested) to $10,000 (in a more complicate situation). however, I cant overstress, keeping your costs in this range will only be possible if neither you nor your spouse are uncompromising or out for blood.

What follows is a list of dos and donts designed to get you there:

(1) Select your lawyer carefully.
Make sure its someone whose personality and demeanor suits yours, and who has the legal knowledge and insight needed to tailor his or her recommendations to meet your needs. A lawyer may wow you with his or her personality, legal knowledge, rhetorical skills or promises at an initial consultation, but if he or she cant or refuses to listen to you, youll probably pay the price later on.

(2) continue civil, already better, cordial communications with your ex-spouse to be.

Sometimes the only way to contain legal costs in a divorce with a multiplicity of issues is to negotiate a deal directly with your spouse, and then have the lawyers draft an agreement. In any case, establishing a civil post-marriage relationship with your spouse as early as possible, particularly where children are involved, may help ease compromise, reduce resentments, mitigate anxieties, and, most importantly, mitigate legal costs.

(3) Be prepared to compromise.
Parties often bemoan their spouses inability to be reasonable, but are just as often unprepared to compromise themselves. If youre convinced that your settlement offer is so reasonable that no one could refuse it, youve either made a too generous first offer or youre presently incapable of weighing the equities in a balanced manner. Its probably the latter.

(4) Be aware of what is most important to your spouse.
This doesnt average that you have to concede exactly what it is he or she wants. But accept the fact that an agreement will only be possible, if youre sufficiently flexible to be in a position to compromise on one or more issues that are basic to your spouse. At the same time, its just as unrealistic to expect to prevail on every issue that you consider to be basic for you.

(5) Avoid adversarial motion practice at all costs.
In certain situations, it may be impossible to resolve an interim issue that requires immediate attention without filing a motion, e.g., issues like permanent sustain or a spouses refusal to disclose basic financial information. In that case, youll have little choice but to file a motion with the court. However, if you must take this course, be prepared to incur legal fees that will almost certainly end up exceeding $10,000 (the cost of filing a single motion might be that much or more). And further, be mindful that if you embark on this path, you may raise your case to such an adversarial pitch that costs literally multiply.

(6) Never tell yourself youd rather pay your lawyer than your spouse.
You may end up paying both. Its a tactic that only makes sense when your spouses expectations are sky high and doubtful to come down to earth any time soon. additionally, the Court may ultimately view you as the unrealistic party, in which case you might already be ordered to pay your spouses legal fees.

(7) Help your lawyer do his or her job for you whenever possible.
Most legal clients today are educated consumers, who dont need to be told its wise to help your lawyer work more efficiently for you. But, if youre someone whos allergic to paperwork, pathologically disorganized, or just dont want that much direct involvement in a painful ordeal, you will have to pay a premium. Virtually all divorce lawyers charge by the hour, and many areas of divorce practice are inherently time consuming. however, if you use hours explaining something to your lawyer that he or she could have discerned from the documents, youll unprotected to the opposite of your aims.

(8) Realistically estimate costs with your lawyer on an current basis.
To do this effectively youll need to know both the scope and inner rationale for the steps your lawyer proposes taking. Its not enough to know your lawyer plans to start by preparing a Summons and Complaint. You need to know what that method and whether it will require a few hours or a few days of legal work.

(9) Dont litigate over child-related issues.
If you cant mutually resolve the custody and visitation of your child(ren) with your spouse, you wont stand a chance of avoiding substantial legal costs. This method that as long as your children wont be placed at risk, if you want or need to control costs youll have to compromise on scheduling and custody labels. This is not always easy advice to follow. Often, one or both parties mistakenly view parenting as a battleground for securing control or financial advantage over their spouse. If this is the case, youre going to have a very difficult time avoiding expensive litigation.

If you can avoid these nine pitfalls, youll stand a good chance of avoiding burying yourself in legal costs, already if it doesnt average a $399 divorce.

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