I teach family law at CUNY Law School and the semester started a few weeks ago. Here I was on the first day back (hat hair and all):
This week, I brought in a well-respected colleague as a guest to talk about how a contested divorce moves through the court system. He told the students about discovery demands and motion practice and preliminary conferences and a lot of time-consuming stuff. And then he mentioned his hourly rate, and there was an audible gasp among the students. You could see why he said that it can cost between $50,000 and $100,000 to have a contested divorce now! He also said that someone making $200,000 a year is middle class in New York City. (I think he meant that an NYC family that makes $200,000 will still be sending their kids to public school and not have a lot left over.)
So yesterday as we were setting up to begin class, a student raised her hand and said kept wondering whether $200,000 could really be considered middle class. She couldn’t believe it was that high.
I pointed out that his clients have to have a certain amount of money to hire a lawyer like him to negotiate their divorces – a $200,000 salary is probably low for his clients. Going to court for divorce is incredibly expensive. I’ve spoken with people who have dipped into their retirement plans, borrowed from their parents’ retirement plans and from their kids’ college savings accounts to be able to afford their divorce costs. Mediation and collaborative law are less draining, but they are not the right fit for every family.
So, as it happens, I’m going to be doing a free workshop on February 15 on Zoom called 3 Sure-fire Ways to Save Time, Stress and $$$ on Your Divorce, which I’d love for you to join if you happen to be getting divorced. Spend an hour with me and you’ll leave with clear, actionable steps to make your divorce process easier on you and on your kids. If you’re not getting divorced, I’d be grateful if you’d forward this email (or the link) to anyone you might know who is. I’m excited to be able to share this information again!
PS – if you’re reading this after February 15, click on the link and find out when I’ll be offering the workshop again!