The cost of a litigated divorce can be astronomical. Most experienced divorce lawyers charge anywhere from 300 to 500 dollars an hour for their services. In a contested divorce couples can fight about everything from custody of the family dog to the living room furniture. Contested divorces involve numerous court appearances, the involvement of numerous experts such as accountants and psychologists to decide such issues as the division of marital assets, alimony, and custody of the children.
It is not uncommon for a contested divorce to cost in excess of $25,000.00. A larger percentage of people going through the process each year are recognizing the benefits of non-litigation based divorces such as divorce by way of mediation or a collaborative divorce. Non-litigated divorces are resolved by mutual agreement of the parties wherein in litigated divorces the parties have binding decisions imposed on them by third parties most often the Judge.
In addition, more often than not individuals who go through a divorce by way of litigation stay involved in the legal system for years even after the divorce is finalized. By way of example, if the parties had young children at the time of the divorce and now it is time for the children to enroll in college, the parents may return to court to determine the allocation between the parents of all the college costs for the kids. This is like getting a divorce all over again. Parties who get divorced amicably tend to resolve the post judgment issues that may present themselves after the divorce amicably as well. Most mediated divorce agreements contain a return to mediation clause which requires the parties to go back to mediation to resolve any issues that may arise after the divorce has been finalized.
Issues such as the allocation of college costs can be resolved in one afternoon with a mediator as opposed to months if not years if processed through the court system.
People today are learning from the mistakes of those who have come before then regarding how to effectively navigate a divorce proceeding. That trend will continue prospectively. If you are interested in learning more about the current trends in divorce in the State of New Jersey, please call the divorce lawyers at Villani and DeLuca and arrange for your free consultation today.