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Key Suggestion: Talking together and each being reasonable saves countless hours when your attorney does the talking. The average cost of divorce court is about five (5) to seven (7) dollars per minute for each hour your attorney gets involved on issues.

Next: Identify what you own and what property you obtain during the marriage. Dig out all written proofs before they disappear. In my office, I firmly believe that a friendly letter to another attorney or to a spouse goes a long way in saving money for attorney’s fees. You should talk to your spouse before you see an attorney. You can see if you can agree on amounts of child support, custody, visitation, health insurance and child care. Any good attorney will tell you whether the things you agreed to are too much or not enough.

Remember: Marriage is a legal bond. Because of this, it requires a legal ending. And this means only in a court or on court papers. Many of my clients do not realize that you must be sued or get sued to bring a divorce. Suing means you go to Court, pay a bunch of fees and get a Judge assigned. It is only a Judge who can sign an Order stating that the marriage bond is over. There is no other way to do it. It must be done in Supreme Court New York. There is a Supreme Court in every County in the State of New York.

Just to get to first base, if you have a divorce, there are filing fees of no less than $400. A divorce can cost between $500 and $500,000 before additional amounts for expenses and costs that do not go to the attorney for his fee.

If there is a single fight about money, the house, visitation, custody, health insurance or any other issues, it is not truly an uncontested divorce. You should speak to your spouse and save time in the courtroom. It is expensive to fight using lawyers. As a result, the first thing in a divorce is write a friendly letter to your spouse. I explain that I am your attorney and that this matter can be resolved most quickly and cheaply by talking.

Contested divorce? This is the nasty one. This is the one in which people pay lawyers hundreds of dollars per hour to argue about who gets the toaster. The court system is slow and unresponsive. Attorneys are forced to deal with overworked judges. This is very important for

Before I sue (Plaintiff v. Defendant) for divorce on behalf of my client, I invite the spouse to come to my office, rapidly exchange papers and documents and make a checklist of the rights and obligations of each party.

The Order of the Judge must say who lives with the children primarily. Often, but not always, the Mother. The Father often threatens that he will get custody when there is no way in the world he would ever get it. This frightens many of my female clients unnecessarily. The person who has the living environment that is best for the children is the one who gets custody. A mother who has raised the children from the beginning has a big advantage in any custody fight. As always, it is up to the Judge.

Child support and wife support (alimony or maintenance) is determined by numerous factors in the law. The very first order of child support obtained must be fair. If it’s not, it will haunt you forever and ever because it will be used whenever you try to change the amounts. Utmost care must be used in getting an Order of Support.

Visitation. Visitation is the right to see your children midweek, weekends, holidays, overnights, vacations, and school and personal affairs of the child. Courts are clear that visitation is a right far more precious than property rights. It has nothing to do with whether or not you are supporting the children initially. A father has right to visitation and any mother who interferes with that can have problems.
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Family Court is the place where matters of custody and support as well as visitation are handled between unmarried persons. Unmarried persons must handle these matters in Family Court. A married person can either handle matters in Family Court in Supreme Court. There are disadvantages of using each court. You should see Mr. Weidman to discuss them.
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You would be quite surprised to see that there is something called mediation. It is done by a neutral party who allegedly encourages that party to talk. Very often in my practice, I see people who try to save a couple of bucks on mediation. The mediators often don’t read the papers and have you enter into final agreements that are extremely damaging to your rights. However, if you chose mediation, you can certainly use me to go over what I feel are your rights and obligations in the marriage. You can then take this information to a mediator for discussion.
You argue with your wife, text her or email her a mild threat. You are ordered by a judge to “stay away” or “refrain from” such conduct. This is an Order of Protection case. A defense attorney can often get these knocked down to violations or COMPLETELY dismissed.