According to the website 24/7 Wall St. the average cost for a divorce in N.J. without children is $15,600. The same website shows the cost of divorce in N.J. with children to average $23,400. This may seem high, but the reality is that the average cost of a wedding in N.J. is $62,000! No one is saying that weddings aren’t wonderful, but if the marriage does unfortunately end in divorce, you are now paying to fight for your financial future and your children (if you have children- and most divorcing couples do).
Accordingly, it is imperative to find a good lawyer to negotiate your settlement and putting the money into what will eventually become a Court Order binding you to its terms is reasonable and necessary. This is especially true when you look at the fact that the average divorce in N.J. costs 38% of what the average wedding costs.
Given all that, there are things you can do to defray the costs of your divorce lawyer. For example:
- Always be honest, even if you feel it makes you look bad.
- Be prepared for all meetings and telephone calls. Make notes if you need to.
- Gather as much information as you possibly can, alleviating the need for the lawyer to do the “detective” work at his/her hourly rate.
- Be clear with your lawyer as to your goals.
- Listen to your lawyer’s advice- he or she is the expert. Your lawyer will explain all your options and will listen if you disagree, but look carefully at your motives in your disagreement. It is a waste of time and finances if you are refusing your lawyer’s advice for purely emotional or vengeful reasons.
Your divorce lawyer wants what is best for you. Think of this as a partnership-yes, one that will cost money, but worth what you pay in the long run.