How Much Will My Divorce Cost in New York?
If considering divorce, outside of what you may lose in assets and gain in debt, the question of how much a divorce costs in New York is probably a concern. To better understand what you may spend on a divorce action, the following will guide you with a brief overview of the most common expenses that make up the overall cost.
You and Your Spouse Drive the Cost of Your Divorce the Most
Before you begin looking for an attorney with the cheapest rate to save on divorce costs, keep in mind that you and your spouse are the primary influence on the price tag of your divorce. Yes, how much you pay for legal representation does matter, but if you have an ex-spouse who might negotiate, you could afford to hire a more reputable family law attorney because of the savings an uncontested divorce brings.
Even if your dissolution turns into a highly contested action, opting to invest in an experienced New York divorce lawyer could save you thousands in lost assets.
What are the Common Costs Associated with Filing for Divorce in New York?
Outside of the cost for a divorce lawyer to represent your best interests, some expenses are part and parcel with divorce, including:
Throughout the state of New York, you will discover that court fees are universal for the most part. Generally, most uncontested divorce actions begin at a minimum of $335.00 to file, unless you or your spouse are indigent when filing.
Keep in mind there are additional filing costs associated with divorce in the state, including motion fees, document copy costs, official service expenses, and more. Just having divorce papers initially served to your spouse can range anywhere from $100 to $200.
Divorce Lawyer Expenses
Many New York divorce lawyers base their retainer and rates based on the circumstances of your divorce. While the hourly rates charged vary widely, you can expect to pay anywhere from $250 to upwards of $500 an hour for more complex cases. When you hire legal counsel for your divorce case, they take serious consideration of your situation before doing so because they will not be able to simply quit. Attorneys that represent you in legal actions would need permission from the court to withdraw their services from your case.
Going to Trial Can Make Costs Skyrocket
Contested divorces often require their cases to go to trial and have a judge decide on disputed issues like custody or asset division. When this occurs, you can expect your costs to soar even higher. This increase is due to your divorce lawyer needing to invest more time in preparing and presenting your case for trial.
Below are common extra steps needed for a divorce trial that can make your overall cost go higher:
- Drafting of briefs and motions for pre-trial and trial
- Requiring further discovery
- Gathering and presenting evidence to the court
- Setting up and preparing for witness testimony
- Preparing for cross-examination of your ex-spouse’s witnesses
- Creating opening and closing statements for trial
Ask an Experienced New York Divorce Lawyer if You Should Settle or Pursue More
The best investment throughout any divorce proceeding will always prove to be your divorce lawyer. Not only do they work toward an agreement that you can live with, but legal professionals like Attorney Katherine Ryan will make sure that you pursue matters that will benefit your investment of time, money, and overall well-being.
Divorces can be a traumatic experience. Having a calm and steady hand of a knowledgeable divorce lawyer can help keep you grounded and focused on the important matters at hand. The Law Office of Katherine Ryan, P.C., brings a much-needed level of empathy and client-focus that enables you to achieve a divorce settlement that still preserves the best interests for you and your family.
Our firm provides family law services to clients in Garden City, Nassau County, Suffolk County, Westchester County, and Long Island. Contact The Law Office of Katherine Ryan, P.C. today for a comprehensive evaluation of your family law issue.