If you are contemplating or already going through a divorce, it is natural that you will have many questions. Below are 5 of the most common questions that I am asked by clients:
- How Much Will A Divorce Cost?
- How Long Will a Divorce Take?
- Will I Have to Go to Court or Trial?
- Do I Need a Separation Agreement?
- What Am I Entitled To (regarding support or division of assets)
How Much Will a Divorce Cost
As a lawyer, I understand that this is a significant concern. Let’s face it, divorce litigation can be expensive. The answer to this question is that the cost will vary depending on your case. Not all divorce cases are the same. People who fight about everything and cannot agree on how to divide the pots and pans or how to share time with their children make their case more complicated and end up spending a lot more. People who can deal with each other reasonably and amicably or really have no issues to deal with such as in a case of a short childless marriage, can deal with things more quickly and cheaply. In fact, in the case of an uncontested divorce, the lawyer can quote you a flat rate to avoid any surprises. That’s what we do here! (Hint)
How Long Will a Divorce Take?
Again, this depends on whether this is an uncontested divorce or whether this is a bitterly contested one. A complicated case involving unreasonable behavior or just complex legal and evidentiary issues can take years to resolve. However, an uncontested divorce can be resolved a lot faster. In the case of an uncontested divorce, the matter can be usually dealt with in a few months. “That long?” you may be asking. The reason it cannot be done immediately is that (except in the case of an uncontested divorce) you first need to draft the documents, serve them on the other side, wait at least 20 days, and then set the matter down for a hearing. All of this takes time, even when everything goes completely smoothly. But sometimes things will take longer due to unforeseen circumstances. For example, you may be waiting for the Clearance Certificate from the Central Divorce Registry, or you may have trouble serving your ex-spouse with your Petition for Divorce.
Do I Need a Separation Agreement?
Every situation is different. If there are no issues concerning children, support or division of assets and debts, a separation agreement may not be necessary. In other cases, it may be advisable to negotiate a separation agreement to ensure that there are no loose ends after the divorce is granted, and also to ensure that everyone’s rights and obligations are spelled out. It is extremely important that you obtain competent legal advice regarding what your rights are and you should never sign a separation agreement, or decide you do not need one, before seeking professional advice. One of the most common mistakes people make is to try to save a few dollars by using examples of separation agreements that they find online. These forms and precedents are usually junk and signing them can lead to very costly consequences.
What Am I Entitled To?
You didn’t expect that I could answer this question without knowing anything about your specific circumstances, did you? Generally speaking, divorcing couples need to consider issues regarding custody, child support, spousal support and division of assets and debts including pensions. These are very complex issues and your rights and obligations will vary depending on your circumstances and the specific facts of your case. We do offer no-obligation consultations and file reviews by phone or zoom, for a flat fee, to advise you of your rights. You can set up a consultation using our contact page.