When spouses in New York feel that their marriage is breaking down, one of the first things they ask is how much is divorce in NY.
To answer, the cost of a divorce in NY depends on whether the divorce is contested or not. If the divorce is uncontested, most lawyers will charge a flat rate of $1,500 (excluding court fees) which includes consultation, an analysis of your situation, calculation of spousal and child support, an analysis of the division of marital assets and debts, child custody and support agreement, detailed divorce settlement agreement, preparation of all uncontested divorce papers, filing of divorce papers with court, and judgment of divorce.
If the divorce is contested, a flat fee cannot be charged since the number of hours to be utilized is unknown. For this reason, lawyers in NY normally charge $400 per hour for contested divorces.
Rather than figuring out how much a divorce is in NY, it’s better to know how to lower your costs of divorce. Generally, a divorce that’s uncontested is significantly cheaper than a contested divorce.
Uncontested divorce occurs when both parties agree on all matters related to the divorce. Although the separation may be uncontested, spouses still need to address several issues regarding the divorce such as marital assets and debts, spousal and child support, and custody, to name a few.
There are some DIY sites that help couples go through uncontested divorce proceedings. However, it is recommended to get the services of a lawyer so that you know your rights and what you may be waiving and to ensure your rights are protected. It also helps to understand tax implications regarding the divorce so you can plan the separation accordingly. What may start out as uncontested can become contested when both parties are stubborn and do not agree on a particular matter.
The cost of an uncontested divorce in New York may be lower for spouses with no children or assets and debts to divide. However, divorce between couples with children and assets becomes a little bit more complicated because several agreements have to be drafted to ensure a seamless separation, such as custody and visitation agreements, spousal and child support, division of marital property, income tax responsibility, and waivers to rights as beneficiaries in insurance policies, retirement accounts, and under the last will and testament. In executing these agreements, access to legal expertise is recommended so one can be aware of their rights. Knowing one’s legal rights gives one spouse leverage during negotiations.
Contested divorce occurs when parties do not agree on all issues related to the divorce. Because contested divorce requires more legal representation, lawyers rarely charge a flat fee in these proceedings. Contested divorces usually involve high net worth individuals with more than $1 million in liquid assets. Breaking up a high net-worth couple is similar to liquidating a large company. You need to hire more professionals, such as an experienced attorney, a forensic accountant, and a tax expert.
In a high asset divorce, the question how much is a divorce in NY should be secondary to the question of getting legal representation at the earliest possible time. Getting immediate legal representation ensures you save more and get more in the process.
Divorce is a taxable event, but there are ways to reduce its impact with proper planning and negotiation. The earlier you get legal representation, the better because it ensures that assets do not get hidden or transferred. The cost of divorce in New York for high net-worth couples can range from $400 per hour upwards.
If you and your spouse are contemplating divorce and you need assistance or consultation, we at the Law Offices of Albert Goodwin are here for you. We have offices in New York, NY, Brooklyn, NY and Queens, NY. You can call us at 718-509-9774 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.