According to a recent survey, the average cost of a divorce in Texas is $15,600, if there are no children involved. However, the stakes are higher if there are children involved. The average cost, in this case, could go as high as $23,500. According to USA Today, this places the state fifth in the US for divorce costs.
This article will discuss why divorce is costly, how to cut the expense of divorce, how much Texas divorce lawyers charge, and how long a Texas divorce takes. It should give you a decent indication of how much you can expect to pay in your divorce, as well as some other useful information.
Let’s set the ball rolling…
What Factors Influence Divorce Costs in Texas?
The cost of a divorce in Texas is determined by a number of factors, including:
#1. Contested Cases
You’ll need lawyers if you and your spouse have unresolved financial or child custody issues. Depending on their experience, a family law attorney in Texas costs around $320 per hour on average. The more issues on which you and your spouse cannot agree, the longer your divorce proceedings will last.
Even a lawyer won’t be able to predict how long your case will take, but it will most likely take at least six months. But, while it’s difficult to estimate the cost of your lawyer’s time, it could range from $12,000 if there are no children or property to well over $20,000 if there are.
#2. Legal Assistance
You may require the services of a lawyer regardless of the type of divorce you choose. Even if your case is uncontested, if you do not want to do it yourself, you would require assistance with document preparation and filing. You may also need to consult with other professionals, such as accountants and assessors, about certain parts of your divorce. The cost of your divorce will also rise as a result of these consultations.
#3. Marital Assets
If you and your spouse have property or debt and can’t agree on how to share it, the court will have to decide. With a few exceptions, Texas is a community property state. This means that whatever you and your spouse acquire during your marriage is considered community property and should be divided equally between you and your spouse. It will take a long time to prove that your proposed distribution is better than your ex’s, and the court’s ruling may leave neither of you satisfied.
#4. Custody Battles
If you and your ex can’t agree on custody, the court will enlist the help of other specialists like custody evaluators. The cost of such a service can range from $500 for each spouse to $15,000 if you choose a private evaluation in addition to the standard one.
This means that the court will make all custody-related decisions based on the evaluator’s conclusions as well as the child’s best interests. Even if you have a wonderful lawyer, you may not be able to gain sole custody because courts prefer that children have strong ties with both parents unless one of them is unfit.
If one of the parties delays the procedure, refuses to cooperate or takes certain decisions out of pettiness, the cost of having a divorce in Texas will be considerably higher.
How Much Does an Uncontested Divorce Cost in Texas?
Depending on whether or not lawyers are involved, the average cost of an uncontested divorce in Texas ranges from $300 to $5,000. In general, it is the most cost-effective and time-efficient alternative in any state. You won’t need to employ a lawyer because you’re already in complete agreement. This lowers the expense of an uncontested divorce in Texas significantly. You have the option of completing the form on your own or seeking assistance online.
However, it’s important to note that getting a divorce in Texas without a lawyer requires both parties to agree. You’ll need a clear channel of communication with your husband/wife to figure out what you’ll get or be responsible for once your marriage ends. Custody and child support, property and debt distribution, and spousal support are just a few of the topics you’ll need to talk about. Your Settlement Agreement must incorporate all of your decisions on these issues.
Costs of a Texas Contested Divorce
In Texas, the average cost of a disputed divorce is $15,600, which is a significant sum for a lot of families. The average fee for a family law attorney is $320, but it can be more if your attorney has handled cases comparable to yours or if the case is more serious.
In general, the more concerns the court must decide on your behalf, the more expensive your divorce will be. Whether you need to divide your property, decide on custody, or evaluate the necessity for spousal support, you’ll need to employ lawyers and other professionals to inspect your case and maybe testify in court, all of which will dramatically increase the costs.
How Much Does a Divorce Lawyer Cost in Texas?
The fees charged by Texas divorce lawyers range from $130 to $415. The cost of a divorce lawyer per hour is governed by numerous factors as mentioned above.
In large cities or counties, divorce lawyer hourly charges are often much more. As a result, it is preferable to compare pricing in your area before making a decision. In Houston, for example, the average cost of a family law attorney is $300.
Meanwhile, an unskilled lawyer will almost certainly charge less than an experienced lawyer. Many divorcees, however, prefer to work with attorneys who have successfully represented clients in similar matters in the past. They may, in fact, know how to tackle the matter more effectively than their less experienced colleagues, allowing the case to be resolved more quickly. As a result, such lawyers charge between $300 and $400 per hour.
In certain scenarios, you may simply require the services of a consulting attorney to assist you with specific elements of your divorce. They may, for example, support you during mediation, draft a Settlement Agreement, or complete the necessary documentation. Hiring a consulting lawyer will not suffice if you have a case including custody battles and asset partition conflicts.
Note: When applying for divorce in Texas, you must identify the reason for your marriage's end. If no one is to blame, simply remark that your marriage is "insupportable," which may occur as a result of fights or disagreements. However, if you wish to use spousal wrongdoing to influence the outcome of your divorce, you must prove it. And because this is something your lawyer will have to accomplish, their services will be significantly more expensive.
How Much Does Filing for Divorce Cost in Texas?
You would have to pay roughly $300 to the court to petition for divorce in Texas. The cost of filing for divorce in Texas varies by county, so it’s best to check with your local clerk for an exact figure.
Please keep in mind that you will be charged for copies of your documentation as well as additional services. If you have a lawyer, you won’t have to pay these expenses separately because they’ll be included in one bill.
You can file an Affidavit of Inability to Pay if you can’t afford to pay your divorce bills in Texas. Your financial condition will be considered by the court in determining whether you will pay or not.
Divorce Process Options that Affect the Cost
Every divorce concludes with a court-ordered divorce decree. However, there are a variety of alternatives to arrive at that conclusion. Each process option has advantages, and some options will simply not work in certain scenarios, but it’s critical to understand all of your possibilities. The following is a list of the most popular divorce alternatives in Texas, as well as their respective costs.
#1. DIY (Do It Yourself) Divorce
You handle every part of a genuine DIY divorce on your own, from negotiating the settlement to calculating child support to filling out and filing divorce documents. Although this is the least expensive divorce option, mistakes can be costly.
In this option, divorce negotiations can take place informally (at the kitchen table between the couples) or formally (at a conference table between the spouses’ attorneys).
If you hire a divorce lawyer, you must pay for their time, which adds up quickly. Negotiations, on the other hand, are significantly less expensive than going to court.
A third-party unbiased mediator facilitates divorce talks in mediation. Attorneys may or may not be present for the spouses. A lawyer (or one of the spouses) can use the mediator’s description of what has been agreed upon to draft the divorce agreement. Mediation is a less costly option than going to court. The fee charged by the mediator is determined by their experience, and you must also consider the fee charged by your lawyer if they attend with you.
#3. Divorce Through Collaboration
Collaborative divorce is a process in which the spouses and their attorneys (each spouse must be represented) agree to settle the divorce outside of court with dignity and respect as a priority. It can be beneficial in situations where parents must co-parent their children. People sometimes believe that collaborative divorce is less expensive than traditional divorce, but costs can mount up quickly, especially if child, financial, and mental health professionals are hired to assist the spouses and their children during the process.
In litigation, spouses ask the court to make a decision on a problem (or several issues). It is not the best option, but it may be the only one available in circumstances of domestic violence, substance misuse, or inability to collaborate between spouses. The most expensive divorce option is always litigation. Litigating a divorce costs a lot of money in legal fees and court costs, especially if the case requires a trial, which can take weeks to prepare for and several days to argue in court.
Is it Possible to File for Divorce in Texas Without Hiring a Lawyer?
In Texas, you do not need an attorney to petition for divorce. In most cases, however, it is strongly advised that you get your divorce agreement examined by a divorce lawyer who can search for any issues.
If your case necessitates litigation, it is also strongly advised that you hire a lawyer. Litigation is a formal judicial process that is difficult to handle without the help of a lawyer. Pro se litigants are people who represent themselves in divorce court. Although there are resources available for pro se litigants, this is not the best option to go.
With the resources provided by Courtsittingng.com, some people with very simple cases — such as cases without children, assets, or disputes — can complete the divorce paperwork on their own and get their divorce finalized without the help of a lawyer.
How Long Does a Texas Divorce Take?
The length of your divorce will be determined by the number of disputed issues that must be settled, as well as:
- Whether or not your spouse is on board with the divorce
- Whether you have a lot of money or a business,
- The calendar of your county court
From start to completion, a simple and straightforward divorce will take far less time than a difficult one. That being said, in Texas, a divorce cannot be finalized until at least 60 days have passed since the divorce petition was filed.
Additionally, at least one spouse must have lived in Texas for at least six months before filing for divorce. Also, at least one spouse must have lived in the county you are filing in for at least 90 days prior to filing for divorce in that county.
In Texas, a typical divorce takes six months to complete, however more complicated cases can take a year or more.
When it comes to the cost of divorce in Texas, a lot is always at stake. I hope this was able to give you all you would need concerning divorce in Texas. However, if you’d need more information or consulting concerning this, you can reach out to us on our contact us through the comment section or our contact-us page.