3 Unknown Secrets of Divorce

Divorce in Rochester is an unfortunate reality for many couples, but it’s been the experience of our Attorneys that the process doesn’t have to be devastating, emotionally or financially.

1.) The Cost

When a potential client comes into our Rochester office, one question they always ask – although they normally save it until the end of the initial consultation – is, “How much is this going to cost?” I usually tell them that if their divorce is very simple – an uncontested divorce – the typical legal fee is about $2,000. It may be a little more or a little less – plus filing fees. On the other hand, if your divorce is contested and requires some negotiation – or even court intervention – in deciding issues dealing with the children or money, a typical fee would be about $4,500. Again, it may be more or less because every case is different.


  • If the divorce is very simple – uncontested – the typical fee is about $2,000, plus filing fees.
  • If issues involving children or money require negotiation – or court intervention – a typical fee can be about $4,500, but may be more or less. Every case is different.

2.) The Time

When someone comes into our Rochester office, one of the first things they want to know is how long it’s going to take. I immediately tell them that it really depends on the facts and circumstances of their specific case. As a general rule, I say that a divorce in Rochester could take from four to eight months, and that would be a relatively quick divorce. However, if there are issues where the parties disagree – whether that issue is children, money, or property – their divorce could take as long as a year to two years, depending on the amount of disagreement between the husband and the wife.


  • A relatively quick divorce in Rochester may be completed in four to eight months.
  • If the parties disagree on significant issues – such as children, money, or property – the divorce could take as long as a year to two years.

3.) Contested Vs. Uncontested Divorce

Most people who come into our Rochester office want to know the difference between an uncontested and a contested divorce. Almost everybody will say that theirs is going to be amicable and uncontested, and we always hope it works out that way; but, there is a considerable difference between the two terms. An uncontested divorce occurs after you have served your spouse and that spouse does nothing in response to the summons. In other words, they don’t hire a lawyer to submit an answer and they don’t come to court and try to negotiate the divorce settlement. They simply let the divorce go ahead. That is what is meant by an uncontested divorce.

A contested divorce, which is by far the more common type, happens when your spouse, having been served with a summons, goes to see a lawyer who will then submit an answer to your summons. You then have a situation in which both sides are represented by lawyers who then negotiate those important issues of divorce, including the children, money, and  property. The significant difference is that in a truly uncontested divorce, the person being served does nothing, while in a contested divorce, the person being served responds and participates in negotiation of marital issues.


  • Most clients say theirs will be amicable and uncontested – but the terms are considerably different.
  • Your divorce is uncontested when you serve your spouse and he or she just lets the divorce go ahead. They don’t hire a lawyer, submit an answer, or come to court.
  • In a contested divorce, your spouse hires a lawyer who submits an answer. Then, both sides – represented by lawyers – negotiate the important issues, including the children, money, and  property.
  • The essential difference is that in a truly uncontested divorce, the served party does nothing, while in a contested divorce, the other party responds and participates in negotiations.

Are you ready to begin your new life and file for divorce?  Let one of our dedicated Divorce Lawyers walk you through the steps and fight for the best results possible.

This educational legal blog was brought to you by Michael Ranzenhofer, an experienced Rochester Divorce Attorney.

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