How much does a Manhattan Divorce Cost? This question may seem trivial to most, but the cost of a divorce is anything but inconsequential when one considers the ramifications of not settling a family dispute amicably. A settlement will almost always mean a higher settlement amount, and if the parties cannot agree, there is no chance for a compromise. Even if the parties can settle their differences through civilized manners, high courts lean in favor of the plaintiff (the person filing the divorce) and against the defendant (the person being sued). This is why seeking the services of an experienced Manhattan family law attorney is crucial.
There are two kinds of divorces: irreconcilable differences, which mean that there was no way to settle things between the spouses prior to the filing of divorce papers; and unreasonable differences which mean that the problems between the spouses were so acute and overwhelming that the only solution is divorce. In the former cases, couples would be advised by their family law attorneys not to try to resolve their differences through marital counseling or with mutual agreement before filing the divorce papers. It is estimated that only about 30% of all divorces can be resolved through these methods. And, in the second category of unreasonable differences, the cost of a high net worth divorce lawyer will become significant.
In high net worth divorce proceedings, the plaintiff’s lawyer will argue that his client, who is getting a divorce, has a high net worth because of his stock portfolio, yacht, planes, yachts, art collection and, possibly, stock broker activity. The court is expected to give its consent based on what the high net worth divorcee earns and what he could afford to give as child custody, spousal support or any other kind of child custody award. The court’s decision is very important because it is not only the plaintiff’s money at stake. His ex-spouse might not agree to share her husband’s wealth or she may not want her child to have access to a high-priced education. She may also not want her former boyfriend to be permanently banned from her child’s life.
Now, if the wife wants a simple divorce and the husband doesn’t want child custody, he may tell his ex-wife that he is willing to share his assets to settle the child custody dispute. If this happens, the court may simply award the plaintiff custody. But if the husband wants child custody and the wife doesn’t, the high net worth divorcing couple may enter into arbitration. In arbitration, they would sit together with an unbiased arbitrator and try to reach an agreement. The wife and husband would decide how much they would be able to pay for child custody, spousal support or any other kind of child custody award. If they cannot agree, they would go back to court where they would again file for a child custody case.
A high net worth divorce attorney will not only help the plaintiff wins the child custody litigation; he will also help the ex-spouse not lose it. There are certain rules that apply in Manhattan child custody proceedings. This is because the court is trying to maximize its client’s income while minimizing the impact to the ex-wife’s lifestyle. For example, the child custody case could cost the ex-wife several hundred thousand dollars in legal fees alone, but if the wife goes to high-priced law school or other forms of elite therapy, she could be stuck paying these fees for many years.
If a child custody dispute is likely to go to trial, the lawyer will have to get the parents to agree to mediation and arbitration. This means that both parties need to be willing to drop the litigation. And often this means that a settlement will have to be reached, if at all. The lawyer will also have to be able to show that the child’s best interests are being met through the custody agreement. He will have to do this by investigating well into the child’s life and schooling, and looking to see that he or she is getting the proper education needed for his or her future.
In some cases, the ex-wife may not be willing to reach a settlement because she may believe that there is probable merit to her claims of abuse or neglect. Again, this is where an experienced lawyer can be very helpful. He or she will research the matter and get the facts straight for the court. If there are no reports of domestic violence, then the court may believe that joint physical custody is fair. If, however, this has been proven, then the best course may be for a child custody litigation.
These are only a few of the Manhattan Divorce Costs that a lawyer can help with. Of course, the costs of court-room fights and having a lawyer present at every deposition will add up very quickly. That being said, if you want to avoid these high costs and are considering getting a divorce, then the sooner you hire one, the better off you will be. The sooner you start the proceedings, the sooner you will know if you are going to win or lose.