Friday, January 22, 2016

Bergen County Divorce Attorney

As a Bergen County divorce attorney, two of the most common questions clients ask me are "how long will my divorce take?" and “how much will my divorce cost?” The answer to both these questions lies very much in the control of you and your spouse. That’s because the approach you take in getting a divorce will greatly determine both the duration and cost of the process. A divorce can take anywhere from a couple of months to well over a year depending upon how quickly you and your spouse can reach an agreement on all of your issues, such as child support, parenting time and child custody, as well as spousal support, division of assets and maintaining your beneficiary status on your spouse’s life insurance policy.

At FYKGwe bring a depth of professional experience and personal insight to each family law matter. We are here to be your Bergen County divorce attorney and to provide assistance to those facing a difficult chapter in their lives.

If you are fortunate enough to be able to settle the issues with your spouse in a civil manner, with the assistance of your attorneys the divorce can proceed smoothly and can take as little as two or three months. On the other hand, if you and your spouse are at odds and each of you holds on to your positions, without compromise, your divorce could drag on for considerably longer. In other words, the legal process itself is the least of it. What causes delay is when people dig their heels in and become intransigent. I’ve seen this happen most often when there are major unresolved emotional issues between a couple and the divorce is viewed as providing an opportunity to settle old emotional scores or get even instead of focusing on the task of finding a basis for compromise that will allow family members to move forward with their lives without acrimony.

Turning to the question of cost, there’s obviously a direct correlation between time and expense in getting a divorce. In fact, it’s often not a simple linear equation. Sometimes a long and bitter divorce can end up being far more expensive for a couple because acrimony breeds more acrimony. Once a couple descends into outright and persistent antagonism there is a tendency to use a Bergen County divorce attorney and the courts to resolve issues that aren’t even really legal issues. An example of this would be fighting in court with your spouse over the division of household items instead of coming to compromise. As bitterness and mistrust feed off each other, more court appearances become necessary and your attorney must spend more time on your behalf, which means legal fees and costs spiral upwards.

At the other end of the spectrum, the trend in New Jersey and in many other parts of the country now is to encourage couples to undertake a Collaborative Divorce, in which both spouses (and their lawyers) agree at the outset to work towards compromise through negotiation and without recourse to litigation. There are considerable advantages to this approach since it can potentially streamline the process, and minimize both the time and expense necessary to reach a final agreement. The option of working through a Collaborative Divorce very much highlights just how much it is in the power of a couple to influence both the time and cost entailed in the process of getting divorced.

So this is one of those situations where the best way to respond to a question is with another question. When a client asks “How long is my divorce going to take and how much will it cost?” the most accurate answer is: it depends on how you and your spouse intend to approach the challenge of resolving the outstanding issues. Will this be a collaborative or contentious divorce, or is it likely to fall somewhere in between? Once a Bergen County divorce attorney has a better idea of how much you anticipate being able to work towards compromise with your spouse, then it becomes much easier to provide realistic guidance on timing and expense.

Estimating the cost and time it takes to get a divorce is difficult and depends on many variables. 

For more information about our experienced Bergen County divorce attorney, call FYKG at (201) 791-4400.

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