The Cost of Divorce: What Makes it Expensive in New York?

What Makes a Divorce Expensive in New York?



First, it’s important to understand that there are two kinds of divorces – contested and uncontested. During an uncontested divorce in New York, both parties agree on all the terms and do not need the court to divide assets or make determinations about child custody. Thus, an uncontested divorce is usually a quicker process and is less of a financial burden. An uncontested lawyer will be able to assist with this divorce route.


On the other hand, a contested divorce in New York is one in which the spouses cannot agree on dividing the assets, distribution of debts, custody of children, or child support. Property division can take a lot of time to resolve, especially in high-net-worth cases. Essentially, the more contested your divorce becomes and the more issues the spouses can’t agree on, the more time your divorce will take both in and out of court. These issues can and will drive up the cost of your divorce tremendously.

Contested Divorce in New York


A contested divorce case in New York begins when a spouse files a divorce action with the court and then serves the other spouse with divorce papers. Before the Summons and Complaint can be served on the defendant, the plaintiff must purchase an index number, which is the official origin for all the divorce documents at the county clerk’s office. Serving the defendant usually involves hiring a process server who will hand-deliver these documents to the defendant. Through their contested divorce attorneys, the spouses can also serve notices to show:


– Bank statements and receipts

– Credit card bills

– Tax returns

– Paycheck stubs



It is crucial that those seeking or experiencing divorce understand the full process as a contested divorce can be quite complex. Therefore, it is imperative to have a knowledgeable and experienced divorce lawyer by your side.



The Cost of Contested Divorce and the Factors Affecting It


Fault vs No-Fault Divorce

One factor that can impact the cost of your contested New York divorce is whether you are filing for a fault divorce or a no-fault divorce. You and your spouse will have to make this decision by the time the petition to initiate the divorce is filed in court.


The difference between a fault divorce and no-fault divorce is that in a fault divorce one spouse alleges legal wrongdoing on the other spouse, which they must then prove in court. By alleging fault, the services of a top divorce lawyer from a reputable family law firm will be necessary.


Conversely, in a New York no-fault divorce, you and your spouse will simply cite irreconcilable differences as the reason for the divorce.


Which Divorce Method You Choose


If you and your spouse cannot come to an agreement on division of marital property, spousal support, child support or child custody then selecting a professional method of dispute resolution may be best. Such dispute resolutions include negotiating in mediation or a collaborative divorce.


A collaborative divorce is a legal divorce process that allows couples to negotiate all the terms of a divorce, without a court battle. The parties will be informed of the laws concerning their issues and be able to reach an agreement on the property, debt division, child support, child custody, and spousal support. In this divorce process, you and your spouse each hire an attorney, as well as a shared team of other professionals such as financial analysts, mental health professionals, and child specialists to aid in the process. This can be costly, but by having each legal, emotional, and financial professional perform the services for which each is specially trained, the process usually goes a lot of smoother than a divorce court battle.



Whether You Have Kids


If you and your spouse have children, child support and child custody need to be figured out. If it’s a contested divorce, these two issues can cost additional court and lawyer fees.


How Hiring a Divorce Lawyer in Brooklyn Can Help


Many people believe that filing for divorce on their own will save them money. However, do-it-yourself (DIY) divorces often end up costing a lot more in the long run when mistakes and complicated legal issues start happening – which can lead to hiring a lawyer anyway to fix the messy DIY divorce. Instead, protect your interests by hiring an experienced divorce attorney from the start.


The best divorce lawyers in Brooklyn are the ones at The Louis Law Firm, PLLC. These top divorce lawyers in Brooklyn have the knowledge, experience, and are committed to helping those who are looking to file for divorce. Contact The Louis Law Firm, PLLC at (347) 926-3388 to schedule a free consultation.

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