Divorce is a challenging process, both emotionally and financially. In Texas, the financial burden can be particularly significant. The cost of divorce in Texas can range from a few hundred dollars to more than $20,000. This wide range is due to various factors that can influence the cost of a divorce.
What Is the Average Cost of a Divorce?
The average cost of a divorce in Texas without children is $15,600. If there are children involved, the average cost of a divorce in Texas rises to $23,500. This ranks Texas fifth in the country in terms of divorce costs.
What Factors Can Affect the Cost of Divorce in Texas?
The most important factor that will determine the cost of your divorce is deciding whether you want to hire an attorney to represent your interests. Research by Martindale-Nolo indicated that divorce lawyers typically charge $267 per hour.
Keep in mind that hiring a lawyer protects your financial interests and gives you the best chance of securing a favorable settlement agreement. If you and your spouse don’t reach an agreement, your case will be decided in court and the cost will be greater.
Other facts that affect the cost of a divorce include the following.
Every divorce in Texas requires a filing fee. This fee is paid to the court to file the initial divorce paperwork. The cost can vary depending on the county, but it typically ranges from $250 to $300.
The more assets a couple has, the more complex the divorce process becomes. Dividing multiple properties, large retirement accounts, or a family business requires more time and expertise, which can increase the cost of the divorce.
If a couple has children, this can also increase the cost of the divorce. Issues such as child custody, visitation rights, and child support must be resolved. These issues often require additional time and negotiation, which can increase legal fees.
If one spouse is seeking alimony, this can increase the cost of the divorce. Determining an appropriate amount of alimony often requires a detailed analysis of each spouse’s income and expenses.
The divorce process chosen by the couple can also affect the cost. Options include traditional litigation, mediation, and collaborative divorce.
Types of Divorce and Cost for Each Type
There are several types of divorce in Texas, each with its own associated costs.
Fault vs No-Fault Divorce
Fault divorces occur when one spouse asserts in the divorce petition that the other spouse’s actions led to the dissolution of the marriage. Reasons for fault divorces include abandonment, mental incapacity, being convicted of a felony, or domestic violence.
“No fault,” as the term suggests, implies that the dissolution of the marriage is not attributed to either party’s wrongdoing. This type of divorce is the most prevalent in Texas. The costs involved in a no-fault divorce are usually much lower.
In a contested divorce, spouses disagree on one or more key issues such as child custody, division of property, and the reasons for the divorce. The cost of a contested divorce in Texas can range from $5,000 to $20,000 or more, depending on the complexity of the case.
An uncontested divorce means both parties agree on the legal reasons for the divorce and the issues in the case. The average cost for an uncontested divorce in Texas ranges from $300 to $5,000 depending on if you hire a lawyer or mediator.
In the event that one spouse initiates a divorce proceeding and the divorce petition is legally delivered, if the other spouse fails to respond for any reason, the court has the authority to grant a divorce decree by default.
This will usually be the most cost-effective manner as there will be no settlement agreement or court proceedings. In terms of Texas Rules of Civil Procedure 99, default divorce will however only be granted if no response has been received from the partner.
Reach Out to a Tomball Divorce Attorney
Divorce can be a financially taxing process. It’s essential to understand the various factors that can influence the cost of a divorce to help ensure that you don’t get in over your head financially.
If you’re considering a divorce, consult with a legal professional at Bolton Law. We will help you understand the potential costs and develop a strategy that works for your circumstances and your finances. Contact us at 281-351-7897 to schedule your appointment today.