Perhaps the most frequently asked question I receive is, “How much will my divorce cost?” Unfortunately there is no clear cut answer as it depends on numerous factors. You will see advertisements for a divorce starting at $100, but you need to ask yourself what you are getting. These typically are form builders who give you forms that you file on your own and hope to get everything right. What these companies do not do, and cannot do, is evaluate your case to determine what is best for you and your situation. They cannot tell you what expense you bear from not knowing everything there is to know about property division. They cannot tell you what cost you lose by not knowing what is involved in child support calculations. They cannot tell you what you lose in not knowing about undisclosed assets. All they can tell you a divorce in Texas will cost $100 plus filing fees and you can do it yourself.
When I meet with someone to discuss a divorce, I need to know several bits of information in order to provide them with a cost for a divorce in Texas. This information includes, but is not limited to: are there children; what type of property; retirement accounts; bank accounts; property they had before marriage; investment accounts; insurance policies; whether there will be an agreement on any of these items; and much, much more. Even knowing all of this information many factors figure into the total cost of the divorce such as: will Temporary Orders need to be put in place; will mediation be needed; can the parties work out an agreement without mediation; will discovery be necessary; will a jury trial be needed. Based on this, it is nearly impossible to tell a person exactly what their divorce will cost.
Other factors are also about the attorney and how they handle their billing. Some attorneys bill on an hourly basis where you get a bill every month for the services they provided. Other attorneys offer value service bundles where you pay up front for the services that you have negotiated. Each type of billing has its pros and cons and should be discussed with your attorney to help you evaluate your costs.
Having said that, many attorneys offer a free consultation, in which you can discuss your situation and obtain an idea of what will be involved in your case.