When you are seeking a divorce in Texas, it is necessary to file a lawsuit, called a petition for Divorce. It is highly advisable to hire an experienced divorce lawyer in Houston to help you and represent you in your divorce matter.
One of the very first things we are asked is, “How much does a divorce cost in Texas?”
Unfortunately, there is no easy answer to that question. Instead, there are many factors that weigh the total costs for each unique case. We can explain each to you during an initial consultation, so you have a good idea of how to financially plan for a divorce in Texas.
What is the Average Cost of a Divorce in Houston, TX?
The average cost of an attorney for a divorce in Texas is $15,000.
Of course, this is just the average, and costs vary with each couple and the complexity of their case.
What Factors Dictate My Houston, TX Divorce’s Overall Costs?
If your divorce is straightforward, and both spouses have agreed on the details, the cost of your divorce will be much lower than a contested divorce.
The costs of a divorce can be well below the average if you have agreed upon:
- How all or most of the assets and bank accounts will be divided
- Who will live in the house or how the proceeds of a sale will be divided
If you have children, costs could increase, but, if you and your spouse are able to discuss and agree on the issues concerning child custody, visitation, and child support, you will be able to lower the final cost of your divorce.
There are common circumstances, which when present, often result in higher divorce costs, which can include:
- High-conflict personalities
- High value or extensive assets
- Family businesses
- Acrimonious child custody battles
Marriages that have high-value assets, or a large number of assets, or several different types of complex investment tools usually result in extensive research and review of the assets, which leads to normally intensive negotiations in an attempt to reach a consensus on the value of the assets, and how the assets can or should be divested and distributed.
These complex assets also usually have tax consequences which also need to be addressed.
Many marriages have family businesses. These businesses have a value based on the financial health of the business, along with the business assets and liabilities.
However, businesses often have the intangible assets of goodwill, name recognition, reputation, which sometimes is related to one of the spouses rather than the business itself.
The determination of the value for such intangible often causes disagreements and agitation between the spouses and can result in extra discussions and discovery in the case.
Child Custody and Support Conflicts Will Increase Your Divorce Costs in Texas
Another cause of divorce costs to rise is when the spouses engage in extreme hostility over child custody, child visitation, and child support issues. Child custody, visitation, and support issues are very important issues in a divorce action, and, they deserve the utmost attention. However, there are times when the fight over child custody, visitation, and support is not strictly focused on what is best for the children, but, instead use the child custody, visitation, and support issues to attack their spouse, or are engaged in to inflict harm on the spouse, in an attempt to either show the spouse is not a worthy parent or to simply inflict as much pain as possible.
However, you do not need negative intentions to cause child custody, visitation, and support fight to cause an increase in your costs. When a child has special needs, parents often have their own thoughts as to what is best for the child, and these disagreements are aired during the divorce proceeding. Further, issues regarding religion and schooling are a common issue that causes intense disagreements between spouses.
When spouses are aggressive towards each other during the divorce in that they decide to fight and delay everything, costs rise. When spouses resist exchanging information, costs rise. When one spouse simply hopes to delay the divorce in hopes that the divorce can be avoided, costs rise.
Contact Our Experienced Divorce Attorneys in Houston, Texas Today
If you are contemplating divorce, and you believe that any of these issues may arise in the divorce from your spouse, you may want to attempt to discuss these issues with your spouse first, if possible, so that you can attempt to keep costs reasonable. Even if you are unsuccessful in reaching any agreements with your spouse, you can head into the divorce with the knowledge that you tried to save costs, and with the knowledge that the divorce may likely exceed the average cost of one.
The lawyers at Stepp and Sullivan are here to help you with any paternity or family legal issues you have. If we can answer any questions you have, or if you need additional information, we are here for you. We make serving our clients the most important thing we do every day. At Stepp & Sullivan, we make it personal. Powerful.