The average cost for divorce in Texas is approximately $17 000 for couples without children and above $22 000 if spouses have kids. Generally, the less disputed the marriage dissolution, the less money the spouses have to pay. If they manage to resolve all issues concerning the divorce process on their own, they can reduce the cost of divorce in Texas greatly as they may not need the legal representation, which constitutes the basic part of the divorce spending.
What Is the Average Cost for Divorce in Texas?
The average divorce cost in Texas is about $17 000, and many factors may influence the total sum. The most important things to consider are the complexity of the case, the necessity to divide property, as well as involvement of lawyers and mediators. An approximate filing fee for divorce in Texas is $300, but that is the bare minimum a couple has to pay. Usually, the overall divorce price gets higher, especially if spouses can’t agree on the major divorce issues.
The factors that affect the divorce price in Texas are:
- type of divorce – contested or uncontested
- the necessity to involve legal assistants such as mediators, attorneys, custody evaluators, appraisers, etc.
- family type – with or without kids
- online or offline dissolution of marriage.
How Much Does an Uncontested Divorce Cost in Texas?
The average cost of uncontested divorce in Texas varies between $300-$5000 and comprises several fees:
- a court fee of approximately $300 for filing the papers,
- document serving services which usually don’t exceed $15,
- assistance of law firms with the preparation of divorce documents which costs approximately $100-$150 and is optional,
- consultation of a lawyer whose hourly rates range from $200 to $500.
Our company will be glad to offer help with preparing documents for a full-agreement uncontested no-fault divorce for $139.
In general, the cost of uncontested divorce in Texas is lower than that of a contested one, even if you pay for professional help with document preparation. Such cases are resolved quicker than contested divorces and can be finalized without litigation, which eliminates the necessity to cover additional expenses for hiring mediators, arbitrators, and other experts.
While getting a divorce in Texas without a lawyer is possible, especially in uncontested cases, some couples still decide to hire one for help at some point in the divorce process. For example, a lawyer can provide you with a consultation concerning paperwork or filling out a divorce decree and submitting it to the court. Of course, with a family law attorney, your total divorce fee will rise depending on the lawyer’s hourly rate and the time it takes them to handle your case.
Contested Divorce in Texas: Costs
The average cost of contested divorce in Texas usually exceeds $15 000. The main reason for such a large fee is the complexity and duration of the divorce process.
The most expensive part of a contested divorce is hiring a lawyer. Usually, clients with disputed issues need full-scope assistance instead of a basic consultation and have to pay a fixed hourly price. The average lawyer’s hourly fee is approximately $300, so if your case involves many hearings and additional consultations, you may have to pay a lawyer over several thousand dollars.
Besides, a couple may need to hire other experts to resolve different divorce issues:
- People who want to turn a contested divorce into an uncontested case may contact a mediator. This certified specialist organizes a private discussion of the case to help clients settle disputes without involving a judge. In Texas, a couple has to pay $100-$250 per mediation meeting. Though this may seem a high price, especially if spouses have several issues to solve, it allows reducing the costof a divorce by more than half if compared to litigation.
- Another way to find common ground out of court is by hiring an arbitrator. This expert is empowered to collect and evaluate evidence and facts related to the case and make decisions in favor of one of the spouses. This type of service is an excellent choice if privacy is the top priority for a petitioner and a respondent, and they don’t want to divulge sensitive issues during a public hearing. In Texas, such service costs between $1000-$3000 per party for a full day.
- Spouses can also order unbundled legal services, which means an expert will help you with a specific part of a case. For example, for child-involved divorces, it is necessary to order a custody evaluation which costs approximately $500; however, the price depends on the county and may be higher.
How Much Does a Divorce Lawyer Cost in Texas?
Texas divorce lawyers usually charge an hourly rate ranging from $250 to $430. Such a sharp difference in divorce lawyer cost per hour can be explained by three main criteria:
While some people may be discouraged by a family law attorney cost, it is very important to find a skilled lawyer who can efficiently represent you in court. This way, the filing spouse avoids the risk of missing marital property, getting little parenting time, losing control of a business, and more.
If you cannot afford to hire a high-profile divorce lawyer in your county, there are probably other firms that charge less without compromising the quality of services. It is better to get in touch with several law firms and then choose a suitable option.
Cost of Divorce in Texas with Child
If a couple has minor children, a divorce fee can reach $20 000-$23 500. Such cases rarely fall in the “without trial” category and require the participation of different third-party specialists:
- Spouses have to hire a family law attorneywho will advocate for the arrangement that is the most beneficial to a child. Such legal assistance will add $5000- $10 000 to the overall divorce cost.
- A couple may need to find a custody evaluator. Such a person will analyze the family situation, clarify whether there have been cases of neglect or abuse, and learn about the relationships of a child with both parents. You have to pay an extra fee if you want an evaluator to testify before the judge. On average, the services of a custody evaluator cost from $4000 to $6000.
- According to Texas Family Code, the judge may require the parties in a divorce case to attend Parent Education and Family Stabilization courses. The price of such a class usually starts at $30 approximately. A completion certificate is emailed with no additional fee after the parties finish the course. However, some online companies charge $5-$10 for delivering a certificate.
How Much Does It Cost to File for Divorce in Texas?
To file for divorce in Texas, you will have to pay around $300. Additionally, divorce fees in Texas include payment for serving documents which is usually estimated by process servers.
If you lack money to pay the court fees, you can ask the judge to waive them. You need to complete a Texas fee waiver form indicating your income left after paying taxes, people who depend on you financially, any government benefits you receive because of poverty, and your expenses. The judge will review your application and approve or deny your request.
If you want to learn the exact cost of filing for divorce in Texas at a specific period, it is better to check it with the court clerk in the county where you file.