Tag: Spring Lake NJ Divorce Lawyer
One of the most commonly asked question by our Ocean and Monmouth County divorce clients is how much we think their divorce will cost. Understandably, this is a very real concern for many people beginning the divorce process, but unfortunately there is no easy answer to this question.
Unlike personal injury law, in which attorneys frequently work on a “contingency fee” basis, NJ Court Rules prevent divorce attorneys from doing the same. This means that your Ocean County divorce lawyer will instead need to charge you based on the time they spend helping you to resolve your divorce.
Since time is the primary determining factor when it comes to how much your divorce will cost, this article will discuss the different elements of your divorce which will determine how long it will take to resolve, by which you may be able to make a rough estimate for how long you can expect your divorce to take, and how much you may be able to expect your divorce to cost.
Spring Lake, NJ Divorce Lawyer and “Your Family’s Assets and Finances”
One of the most important factors when it comes to your divorce’s timeline is the complexity of your family’s assets and finances. Things like family owned businesses or private business enterprises are extremely complex financial entities, and the law requires that these assets be fully and accurately valued, and then divided in a fair manner (known legally as ‘equitable distribution’). The more complex the assets, the more work will need to be done as part of this two-part equitable distribution process, and this includes everything from homes, properties, debt, and even retirement funds such as a 401k.
You and your Spring Lake divorce lawyer will need to determine exactly how much the business, property, or other asset is worth, and then further determine whether or not you and your spouse want to divide different parts of the business or asset in question, or whether one of you wishes to retain complete ownership of the business, property, or asset, and what that party will need to offer in exchange for this sole ownership.
The bottom line, the more complex your family’s assets, the more time it will take to value, and later divide, those same assets.
Point Pleasant, NJ Divorce Attorney and “The Reasonableness of Your Positions”
Another important determining factor is that of you and your spouse’s positions and desired outcomes, and the reasonableness of those positions and desired outcomes. In simpler terms, if your spouse and their divorce attorney’s original bargaining positions are such that agreeing to them would be extremely unfair to you, either in the short-term or in the long-term, it can take a longer time to ultimately reach fairer agreements than if they had taken a more reasonable position from the get-go.
Conversely, if your own positions are something that your spouse simply cannot agree to, the same considerations would apply. In short, the initial positions and desires of you and your spouse, and their reasonableness and fairness to the other party will go a long way in determining how long it will take to resolve divorce issues like child custody, child support, alimony, and the division of assets.
Monmouth County, NJ Divorce Lawyer and “Negotiation versus Litigation”
Divorce agreements like child custody, child support, alimony, and marital asset division all have the potential to be negotiated outside of a court room, without requiring court intervention to make final decisions in any of these areas.
However, anytime you are unable to find acceptable resolutions to these issues through negotiation, you, your Monmouth County divorce lawyer, your spouse, and their divorce attorney will need to present all of the facts (as each side sees them) to a judge, and also present evidence arguing for a certain position or resolution to these issues to the judge. Not only can these things take time to actually do, you will also have to wait for open court dates in order for these positions and findings to be presented to a judge, and this process can easily last months.
The more you and your spouse are able to negotiate the various issues related to your final divorce settlement agreement, rather than having to rely on a judge to decide them for you, the quicker your divorce will be resolved.
Toms River, NJ Divorce Attorney and “Good Faith Actions and Willingness to Cooperate”
Finally, and perhaps most importantly of all, the good faith conduct of you and your spouse and your willingness to cooperate and find fair middle-ground solutions for the various aspects of your divorce aspect agreement will go a long way in determining how long your divorce takes to resolve. This ties in to our section above regarding how successful your negotiations are, and to what extent court intervention is required, but also goes much deeper than this particular aspect.
As sad as it is to say, many individuals purposely try to hide assets, or try to hide the full value of certain assets in order to obtain more favorable agreements in areas like child support, alimony, and especially, the division of assets. This is known as “acting in bad faith”, whereas acting in “good faith” would mean each party willingly shares full and accurate financial information, and doesn’t purposely try to find advantages by obscuring, hiding, or otherwise manipulating the facts.
However, if you and your spouse share the goal of quickly and efficiently resolving your divorce, and acting in a good faith manner towards one another, this kind of attitude can prevent many of the conflicts and necessary legal actions (such as compelling one party to fully disclose specific financial information) that can arise during the divorce process. The more you and your spouse cooperate and act in good faith, the quicker your divorce can be ultimately resolved.
Contact An Ocean County Divorce Attorney Today
The bottom line is that any attorney who gives you an exact price for your divorce at the outset of the process is taking the risk that the divorce will take longer to resolve than they originally expected, leaving them in the position of essentially “working for free”. Not only is this a risk to the attorney who charges a flat fee, it is a risk to the person who hires that attorney, as chances are once that initial fee has been “worked”, you will no longer really be getting the full and effective legal representation that you deserve during your divorce process. Instead, most divorce attorneys will charge an upfront “retainer fee”, and then either subtract or add to this fee once your divorce has been resolved and it is clear exactly how much time it took.
At Bronzino Law Firm, we have extensive experience helping clients to fairly, effectively, and efficiently resolve their divorce and its related issues of child custody, child support, alimony, and martial asset division in towns across Ocean County and Monmouth County, including Spring Lake, Toms River, Point Pleasant, Middletown, Sea Girt, Brick, Jackson, and Howell.
Attorney Peter Bronzino strongly believes in working closely with each of his clients, and believes that by listening closely to their unique needs and concerns in whatever legal matter they are facing, he can more effectively work to find resolutions which accurately reflect those same needs and concerns. And while we cannot tell you exactly how much your divorce will cost, we can tell you that the smaller size of our law firm allows us to charge our clients fair and reasonable rates for our services, and further allows us to provide attentive service to each and every one of our clients.
To speak with our office and Peter Bronzino today in a free and confidential consultation regarding your divorce and any specific needs or concerns you may have regarding the many issues associated with any divorce, and how exactly we can help you to resolve them, please contact us online, or through our Brick, NJ office at (732) 812-3102.