One of the largest concerns people have when first faced with the reality of divorce is how much it will cost. Fears may run rampant at this stressful time. Will I lose everything I worked for? Can’t we save money by avoiding lawyers and just work it out ourselves? Believe me, I understand. Money is a very important factor in divorces and being in the dark about what the actual costs are will only make a stressful situation worse. So let’s talk about it.
I won’t sugar coat it for you- it is never easy to split up a home into two. Couples divide their assets, and that obviously means that they will have less than when they are together. It is simple math, and I’m amazed at how little my clients have considered it prior to coming to my office. You can be sure that they are much wiser after they leave however. Because I want my clients to have all the facts, so they can make informed decisions for themselves.
Obviously, every household income is different, so we can only talk about categories of costs in this video. We have already mentioned the loss of income from the other spouse. In addition to that, there are also new expenses that have to be paid didn’t exist before - as each spouse must set up a new household begin their independent lives. These include rental deposits, storage, and other necessities. There will also be mandatory court fees for your case which include the original filings fees and other service fees. Also, there may be professional service fees such as mediator fees or home appraisers. If you have children you’ll be required to take a mandatory parenting classes. If custody is disputed there may be many more expenses. The court may appoint a custody evaluator to help you resolve custody and visitation issues. In high conflict cases, a social study or psychological evaluation may be called for and the court may even appoint a representative for the child’s interest. These professional expenses will be charged to one or both of the parties in the divorce.
A key factor is how much conflict exists between the parties. If there is high conflict, then the case will drag on as the court becomes more involved in settling the issues that arise. Most attorney’s charge on an hourly basis and the more conflict there is during the divorce, the more work they have to do- and this drives up costs.
As you can see the cost of your divorce depends on your specific situation. In the face of these costs, it may be tempting to try the many do-it-yourself options out there such as fill in the blank forms. I honestly can’t recommend these. Think about the fact that the outcome of this divorce is going to affect the rest of your life. The advice and counsel of an experience family law attorney is the only real way to ensure that you get the best possible outcome for case and that will be money well spent. In an upcoming video we will discuss creative ways for you the be able to hire an attorney even if you have very little money on hand.
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Attorney Sean Y. Palmer has over 19 years of legal experience as a Texas Attorney and over 25 years as a Qualified Mediator in civil, family and CPS cases. Palmer practices exclusively in the area Family Law and handles Divorce, Child Custody, Child Support, Adoptions, and other Family Law Litigation cases. He represents clients throughout the greater Houston Galveston area, including: Clear Lake, NASA, Webster, Friendswood, Seabrook, League City, Galveston, Texas City, Dickinson, La Porte, La Marque, Clear Lake Shores, Bacliff, Kemah, Pasadena, Baytown, Deer Park, Harris County, and Galveston County, Texas.