Can we use one attorney?
No. New York law prohibits one attorney from representing both parties in a divorce case. If your spouse says that his or her attorney can represent both you, you’re being set up. It’s a trap. Your spouse’s lawyer is your spouse’s lawyer. His job is to help and take care of your spouse – not you. Call our office immediately. Even if you don’t hire a lawyer, you really shouldn’t work with your spouse’s lawyer as if he were your own.
How much will my case cost?
It depends. At the start of your case, your lawyer has no idea of how much your case will cost. Simple uncontested cases can usually be resolved for a reasonable price. Other cases cost more. If your case involves a lot of negotiating or fighting, it will cost more.
How can I keep my costs down?
Be a good client. Gather records and documents and get them to us promptly and in an organized way. Make a list of things to talk about before your call – that will help to keep communications organized and productive. One call resolving five issues is better than five, one-issue calls. Don’t bring your lawyer into emotional contests with your spouse. Rely on your therapist, family, and friends when you need to unload emotional matters. You can trust your attorney to listen to your concerns, but you’re paying by the hour.
How long is this going to take?
Unfortunately, the timeframe for a divorce is very difficult to determine―and you should be cautious of any attorney who claims to know the answer. Lawyers you speak with will only hear your side of the story, which may be 100% correct, but that doesn’t tell any lawyer what the other side is going to claim or do. Generally, the length of a divorce depends on your particular situation as well as factors beyond your control, such as:
- The degree to which you and your spouse agree on issues
- The cooperation between you and your spouse
- The court schedule in a particular county
- In circumstances where both spouses agree on every issue, a divorce can usually be completed in a few weeks (this is called an “uncontested divorce”).
However, if the parties cannot agree on custody, property division or other matters, a divorce can take at least a year or more. If there are issues involving concealed or hidden assets, a divorce can take as long as several years to complete.