The Startling Truth About the Cost of Divorce Litigation
You are angry. Your spouse cheated on you and you want to teach them a lesson. They can’t do this to you and get away with it. You deserve your day in court!
Many people come into my office feeling this way. They want to go to trial and they want to go now. They are right and they want to win.
In many cases the client was wronged and the jerk they married deserves be be fought in court. My bank account and I certainly enjoy a good trial and I enjoy litigation. However, I advise my clients to view litigation as a last resort because in most cases the cost of divorce litigation is too high, both financially and emotionally.
The most obvious cost of a trial is a money. With the time your attorney has to put in for discovery, trial prep and the trial itself, your attorney’s fee’s can run well over $30,000. I’ve seen attorney fee’s over $100,000 in complex litigation. If you have property that needs to be appraised, that can cost upwards of $500 per piece of property. And business valuations and/or forensic accountants can cost $5,000 plus.
If children are involved you may have to pay for an attorney for the children and a forensic psychologist, each of which can cost you over $5,000+. These expenses may be divided between the parties or if only one party is working, they may be solely responsible.
The total cost of divorce litigation in your case could easily reach $50,000 if custody is an issue and you have even a moderate amount of marital assets.
You will also have to take time off of work for court appearances, to prepare with your attorney, to take the children to meet with their attorney, all of which causes you to lose money.
Time is another high cost of divorce litigation. The court will delay scheduling a trial as long as possible in the effort to get the parties to settle. Once you start a divorce action it can be over a year before a trial date is scheduled. And depending on the judge’s schedule, your trial dates may not occur consecutively and you may have to wait weeks between dates.
Trials can be very stressful and emotional. Your life is in limbo during that time. You will most likely have an adversarial relationship with your spouse, which can be emotionally draining for you and your children. Even if your children are young, they will pick up on the tension and it could affect their behavior.
And often it’s really not necessary. Are you willing to lose your house or spend your children’s college fund because you are angry at your spouse? A good divorce attorney will be able to help you see pass the emotion aspects and look at the practical considerations of going to trial.
In the end, some cases just really need to go to trial if the other party is completely unreasonable and there is no possibility of negotiation. If this is your situation you better be prepared to sacrifice time, money and the possibility of an amicable relationship with your former spouse.
Even if you case goes to trial always be open to hear reasonable settlement proposals. In the end it’s safer and cheaper than allowing the judge to decide your fate.
They key to successfully navigating the divorce process in to have an attorney who is willing to make every effort to settle yet is is prepared to go to trial.
For more information on the cost of divorce litigation, book your consultation with Joleena Louis Law today to discuss a litigation strategy for your New York Divorce.