When a couple in New Jersey is in the midst of a divorce, there are many things on the minds of both people. They may be concerned about assets, property, children and visitation rights, alimony, spousal support, child support and other factors that come into play when ending a marriage. In addition, both sides may be concerned about the fees associated with a divorce and how they will be paid for. Divorce can be a costly endeavor and it is important to know what the entire process will entail beforehand.
Court Fees In New Jersey
In New Jersey, when filing for divorce a complaint must be filed. This is referred to as a “Complaint for Divorce.” It must be submitted with the Chancery Division of the New Jersey Superior Court. There are fees each time a complaint is filed and it costs $250 to file for divorce. Every motion that is filed after that will cost $30 each.
If the divorce is a relatively simple one with both sides essentially agreeing to end the marriage amicably, it can take a short amount of time to decide on the distribution of assets, the arrangement for of the children if there are any, and who will get what from the divorce. These types of divorces are generally not that expensive to obtain. Of course, these types of divorces do not always take place. When there are issues that have to be navigated such as child support, alimony and the distribution of assets, it is probably less costly to hire an attorney than it is to try and deal with the matter yourself as you can end up costing yourself a lot more in the long run than it would have cost to simply hire a qualified divorce lawyer.
Will I Have To Pay My Spouses Legal Fees During An NJ Divorce?
An attorney's fees can vary, but in New Jersey, the cost of an attorney is around $275 and $400 per hour. With a simpler case, the costs of an attorney can be kept under control. If the divorce is more contentious, the more work an attorney will have to do and the more money it will cost. This is because there might be the need to hire experts to prove your case. The longer it goes and the more bickering there is between the sides, the more it will cost for both parties and it can run into the tens of thousands of dollars when all is said and done. The best way to keep costs down is to resolve as many of the issues in dispute prior to going to court.
When requiring that the spouse pays for the other spouse's fees, the court typically makes a determination as to whether the attorney fees are reasonable. An examination will be made as to the amount of time the attorney spent on the case, how difficult is the case, if there were any extraordinary skills required to handle the case, and what the customary fees for an attorney handling a similar type of divorce. The decision to have the spouse pay for the other spouse's fees is not a punishment, but it is based on need and is determined by the court on a case by case basis with fairness in mind.
In some circumstances, one spouse might be told by the court to pay the other spouse's legal fees in the divorce. This could be for any number of reasons. Is one spouse working and has the means to pay for the divorce while the other spouse functions as a homemaker and does not have the ability to pay. For this to occur, a request must be made with the court and the court may instruct the spouse to pay the other's legal fees. The court will look into what a lawyer will charge and be fair and reasonable with the spouse paying the fees. The whole idea behind a spouse paying the legal fees is to promote fairness and a level playing field for both sides.
Reasons For Ordering One Spouse To Pay The Others Fees
The idea behind one spouse paying for the other's fees is to promote fairness in the divorce. As stated earlier, it is a common circumstance in which one spouse has more financial flexibility than the other for a number of reasons. One may be working while the other stays at home, one might have a greater financial safety net through family or employment and the spouse in need simply might not have access to pay for a competent attorney to handle the divorce. It is not fair for one side to have the ability to pay for an attorney while the other doesn't. In some instances, the spouse without the money might have to go into debt to hire a lawyer, making matters worse for all. The court making the decision that the spouse pay for the other spouse's legal representation is done so to promote each side having a reasonable opportunity to present a case and achieve their desired results in the divorce.
Contact A Qualified New Jersey Divorce Attorney
One of the biggest concerns that people have when divorcing is how much it is going to cost. In addition to the fees for filing the complaint and motions, the cost of an attorney, experts, and the overall case can rise to significant numbers. Knowing how much the divorce can cost is a motivator for the sides to try and come to an agreement and keep the costs down to benefit everyone. If you or a loved one are planning a divorce or have begun the process of getting divorced in Toms River, Jackson Township, Point Pleasant or any other New Jersey town and have questions regarding the fees accompanying a divorce, the attorneys at the Law Firm of Villani & DeLuca, P.C. in Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey are here to help.