The average cost of a divorce in Texas is $15,600 if there are no kids involved and $23,500 if there are kids involved. For an uncontested divorce, the cost is basically just the cost to file the required paperwork and any court costs which shouldn’t be more than about $350.
How Much Does an Uncontested Divorce Cost?
An average cost of an uncontested divorce in Texas usually doesn’t exceed $800, which is several times cheaper than contested litigations. The main condition of an uncontested marriage dissolution is that spouses agree to settle all the important aspects of their divorce outside the courtroom. Therefore, they don’t necessarily need to hire an attorney and can keep the overall divorce costs in Texas relatively low.
However, it is difficult to give a definite answer to the question, “How much does a divorce cost if both parties agree?” While some spouses choose a DIY divorce option and need to cover only filing fees, others reach out to online divorce services and order document preparation there. The second method will entail more expenses but will still be cheaper than when hiring an attorney who will help with the paperwork.
How Much Does a Contested Divorce Cost?
The cost of a contested divorce in Texas fluctuates from a few thousand to tens of thousands of dollars. Since the process involves going to court and typically hiring lawyers to represent each spouse, the expenses of divorce can add up. Contested divorces are more complicated, expensive, and time-consuming than uncontested cases.
The cost of divorce in Texas with children is higher than that of cases without minor kids due to complex child custody and support issues to resolve. The court will concentrate on the child’s interests and needs. The judge will likely oblige parents to complete parenting classes to ensure they can care for kids properly after the divorce. Involvement of additional experts, e.g., child psychologists for approximately $50-$80/hour or evaluators for $200-$300/hour, may also be required, increasing the overall divorce cost by several hundred or even thousand dollars.
Typically, divorce attorneys in Texas charge hourly fees which range from $200 to $450 depending on several factors:
- Proficiency and reputation. Established and competent divorce attorneys often charge higher fees due to their expertise and track record of success.
- Geographic location. The location within the state can also impact the divorce lawyer cost in Texas. Attorneys practicing in big cities or affluent areas generally charge more compared to those in smaller towns or rural areas.
- The complexity of the case. In complicated divorces with child custody disputes, division of significant assets or debts, business interests, or disagreements over spousal support, lawyers must dedicate more time to the case. Therefore, the more intensive their workload, the higher the fee.
To manage divorce expenses more efficiently, you can address different attorneys and learn about their pricing system and how much they will charge for your specific case. Besides, you may not order full-scope assistance but hire an attorney for a particular service, such as consultation or document checking.
Currently, Texas residents can get free or low-cost legal assistance and file for divorce without a lawyer. For instance, they may take advantage of:
- Legal Aid Organizations like Lone Star Legal Aid and Texas RioGrande Legal Aid.
- Online divorce services that offer expert assistance with document preparation. They are immensely popular with couples who file for an uncontested divorce and want to terminate their marriage with little time and money spent. If you are also interested in filing for divorce without delegating paperwork to high-priced attorneys, you can rely on our service. You will receive court-approved, case-specific divorce forms within a short time and for a reasonable fee.
- Self-Help Resources, e.g., the Texas Law Help website with guidelines on how to deal with a divorce process on your own.
- Family Court Self-Help Centers within the courthouse where experts share information on the main stages of divorce.
How Much Are Divorce Filing Fees in Texas?
Depending on the county, a Texas divorce filing fee varies from $350 to $400. It covers the cost of processing the divorce paperwork and initiating the legal proceedings.
Besides, a petitioner has to pay a Service of Process Fee of approximately $50 for serving divorce documents to the spouse. If a couple needs certified copies of documents, there may be a fee for each copy requested.
Remember that fees can change across the state. You can contact the county clerk’s office or consult with a family law attorney to learn relevant and detailed information on how much court fees are for divorce in a particular county.
What Makes a Texas Divorce So Expensive?
The main thing that affects the cost of divorce is its type – contested or uncontested. If spouses can’t reach an agreement concerning property division, child custody and support, spousal support, and other divorce-related issues, they usually hire attorneys. While this is a smart decision to make, involving experts will increase divorce expenses. In general, the more disputes spouses have, the more legal assistance they need, which has a direct impact on attorney fees. A typical cost of divorce when partners hire attorneys is approximately $15,000 for cases without children.
Another thing that has an impact on the divorce cost is an appeal. If one spouse or both of them don’t like the outcome of their divorce case and want the judge to revise it, they can file an appeal. Appeals mean taking the case to a higher court, and they can significantly raise the cost of marriage dissolution. If spouses choose this option, their attorneys must prepare a new case, predict possible questions from the judges, and come up with irrefutable arguments to persuade the court to change the decision. Of course, experts will charge money for their help.
Overall, contested divorces and appeals raise the cost of divorce due to the increased time, effort, and professional services required to resolve disputes. It makes sense to use all available methods to lower divorce expenses. The most popular options among couples interested in low cost divorce in Texas are mediation and arbitration.
Frequently Asked Question
How much does a mutual divorce cost?
If spouses manage the paperwork on their own, the cost of divorce will be approximately $350. If they order divorce forms from credible services, they would need to pay $150-$200 additionally.
How much does an online divorce cost?
If you order divorce papers from online services and file for an uncontested divorce offline, you will need to pay $500-$550 approximately. If online filing is available in your county, it is possible to reduce the price to less than $250.
How much do divorce papers cost?
Online services that assist with divorce document preparation usually charge $139-$200 for their assistance.
Elizabeth Lopez is a former legal assistant and now a licensed social worker with a master’s degree from The University of Michigan. Having over six years of experience in the field, she covers topics on mental health, marriage therapy, and the divorce process. Elizabeth is a regular contributor to divorce blogs like sasforwomen.com and marriage.com and is planning to start her own professional blog.