A down payment is an initial payment to secure or “keep” the services of a lawyer for a particular legal matter. A retainer is usually based on an estimate of how much time a lawyer believes he or she will need to start your case. Since lawyers bill on an hourly basis, a warrant is essentially an advance to pay for a certain number of hours of their time. As a divorce attorney in New Jersey, I often get this question. While some expenses are simple (e.g., the cost of filing your complaint in court, a lawyer`s hourly rate), predicting the total cost of a divorce often depends on five key factors. You might even consider pursuing divorce without a lawyer just to avoid or “save” legal fees. However, hiring a lawyer is like buying an insurance policy. You don`t know how much you need it and you are grateful to have it until you lose something very important to you. The basic variable in divorce is usually whether or not you are dealing with children. So if you get a divorce where there are no children — and we`re talking about a real divorce, not one of those things where people have been married for a year or two or something like that, but a real divorce — if it`s not about the kids, you can probably expect to pay something like $10,000. It`s a divorce where you divide marital property like a house, retirement, things like that, maybe even debts, and a spousal support claim. This sort of thing, you can probably expect to spend, give, or take about $10,000 for this type of divorce. The court may, in its sole discretion and in accordance with public policy, award attorneys` fees and expenses in divorce proceedings in New Jersey based on the following considerations: Most couples have accumulated assets and debts during their marriage that need to be divided into a divorce, and taking a DIY approach to divorce can really make a brief change or give up too unconsciously.
Also, most clients forget that you always have to pay for the mediator`s time. The mediator is a “neutral” party and cannot and should not give legal advice to you or your spouse. Their interest and their agenda is to settle a case; Not necessarily if you got the best deal possible. At the end of the mediation session(s), the mediator must ask you to have any preliminary agreement discussed and submitted to a lawyer of your choice for review before you sign. So you always end up in a lawyer`s chair. The costs are separate from the lawyer`s fees, but will also be charged in advance. These are fees payable to the court for costs related to filing your case and others, such as experts or on-call experts. Costs may also include assessment fees, photocopies, postage, litigation and courier fees, and other fees. When deciding to award lawyers` fees to one of the spouses, the court takes into account the financial situation of each spouse and the good or bad faith of one of the spouses before and during the proceedings.
Bad faith becomes a factor when a spouse takes actions such as emptying the marriage`s bank accounts, unnecessarily prolonging proceedings, or violating court orders – for example, a court order to pay child support. The courts require you to pay a fee when you file your divorce complaint. In Bergen County, NJ, the application fee is $300 and a $25 supplement for a parent`s education course, which you must take if you have children under the age of 18. To file a response or counterclaim to a divorce claim, the filing fee is $175. If the answer to these three questions is yes, public policy in New Jersey requires that attorneys` fees and costs be awarded to the party with the least complaint. This does not mean that every penny is paid, but there should be a legal fee allowance of a certain amount. It is only for the sake of interest that the same standards for legal fees apply to other family actions, not just divorce proceedings. If you need to discuss attorney fees in your New Jersey divorce trial or other family court matter, call Peter Van Aulen`s law firm for a free initial consultation with a New Jersey divorce attorney at 201-845-7400. If you know that divorce is the way to go, there will always be practical and emotional problems.
But whatever your feelings about divorce, there`s one thing for sure (like death and paying taxes), you`ll probably have to pay a lawyer to help you with this process. And when you talk about a divorce with real assets, remember, you`re often talking about assets and debts worth hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars during a marriage that have accumulated over the course of a marriage. So it`s not a small amount of money. And once it`s done, it`s very hard to cancel it. So it`s better to spend some money now and do it right than to lose money because it was done wrong and then try to undo it, which is very, very difficult. I have found that my divorces are a bit more expensive; Maybe closer to $11,000 or $12,000. Sometimes a little less. I do not ask for as much as other lawyers; I charge about $385 to $400 an hour.