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The Expense and Duration of Matrimonial Actions

How much your divorce will cost and how long it will take to obtain a judgment is a question most often asked by clients, and is one which cannot be answered with absolute certainty. The only reasonable answer to this question is that divorces are cheaper and more expeditious when there is an absence of acrimony and litigation. Other than those types of circumstances, matrimonial actions are fluid, can be spontaneous, and always involve multiple factors, which can change the course at any given moment. Of course the duration and expense of a litigation are intimately intertwined.

Other than the litigational delays caused by the current pandemic, there are inordinate factors which influence the cost and duration of divorce litigation, such as:

• the amount and complexity of the issues involved;

• the experience of the attorneys;

• whether you are the monied or non-monied spouse;

• the court’s calendar;

• your spouse’s agenda during the litigation;

• your own expectations and agenda in the litigation.

The presence of any one or all of the above factors can be the difference between an amicable and speedy resolution versus a costly and prolonged litigation. Some of these factors are clearly within your control, yet others are not. While the judicial ravages of the pandemic continue to influence the Courts’ calendars, there has been a progression to normalcy, and the Court’s have been making diligent efforts to move cases along to resolution.

The one certainty regarding divorce actions is that there is a beginning and there is an end. If you believe that your litigation is going on too long and/or that the cost is prohibitive, communicate these concerns to your attorney, so that an assessment can be made as to of how these concerns can be addressed. In this regard, be open to what your attorney suggests may be the cause, and his/her ideas on how it may be remedied.

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