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Everyone knows that marriage can be expensive. In 2017, Market Watch reported the average cost of a wedding exceeded $30,000. The expenses continue to pile up well after the vows are exchanged and the cake is cut.

However, many couples overlook another cost that almost half of them will also have to consider down the line: the cost of divorce. When facing the end of a marriage, you will want to know how much a Texas divorce will cost. Precise numbers can be difficult to find because not all attorneys maintain transparency in billing practices as the Ramos Law Group does.

The Financial Cost of Divorce in Texas

While the price of dissolving a marriage varies widely, the average Texas divorce costs hover around the $20,000 mark. In the most basic and amicable dissolutions where no children or property are involved, divorce cost in Texas could be as low as a few hundred dollars. While typically not advised, divorcing couples are technically able to prepare their own divorce petitions or file boilerplate forms to curtail the majority of attorney fees. Even so, the easiest separations still require filing fees and court costs, so it’s nearly impossible to leave a marriage completely free of any financial toll.

In the more common scenario, where parties hire family law attorneys to provide guidance and expertise to help navigate the process, the average range of divorce cost in Texas is between approximately $15,000 to $25,000 dollars. For childless couples or those without children under the age of 18, divorce costs tend to be toward the lower end of that
spectrum, while divorces involving children are often on the higher side.

Cost-Affecting Circumstances

Texas divorce costs deviate greatly, even from the average, depending on the circumstances. A relatively simple, attorney-assisted divorce might be resolved for $3500, while it is not unusual to see divorce costs reach the six-figure mark when matters are hotly contested, or the divorcing individuals have a high net worth.

It is common for divorcing spouses to underestimate the amount of time and work involved in unwinding the many ways their lives are intricately intertwined. In addition to attorneys being needed to manage the legalities of the process, accountants, and other financial experts are often called upon to assist in equitably dividing assets, including retirement accounts, real estate and other marital property. When children are involved, there may be a need to hire co-parenting counselors or child therapists. There are many ways to incur Texas divorce costs beyond the expected legal and court fees.

The Lesser-Considered Costs of Divorce

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When examining divorce cost in Texas, many people naturally tend to tally up the variety of financial charges associated with the separation. The costs of divorce beyond the direct expenses are often overlooked. So, what is the cost of divorce in Texas, really?

Divorce is usually a monumental and life-altering event for those involved -and that includes not just the divorcing spouses, but also their children, extended family, and friends. Divorce brings emotional and social costs that can be far-reaching, and it can take a toll on the mental and physical health of those affected.

The Effects of Divorce on Family Members

When spouses decide to go their separate ways, there are no family members who are unaffected. Children living in their parents’ home are faced with considerable stress during a parental breakup. This often involves being displaced from the family home they have known or adjusting to a new life without both parents within the home. Other challenging divorce costs sometimes include adjusting to economic hardships, balancing relationships between separated parents, and potential bouts of sadness and depression.

Similarly, in-laws and other extended family members may find coping with your divorce to be a struggle of their own. Grandparents may fear losing opportunities to bond with their grandchildren following the end of their child’s marriage – particularly those on the side of the noncustodial parent, or if the divorce results in the estrangement of one parent.

Other family members may also feel hesitant or disloyal when trying to maintain a healthy relationship with former in-laws. Friends of the divorcees also often find themselves caught in the fray of choosing sides and balancing allegiances following the end of a marriage. The cost of divorce frequently extends beyond one’s bank account. Divorce cost in Texas includes a surcharge on the well-being of every party affected.

Invest in the Best Possible Outcome

Few spouses enter into a marriage with plans for their union to fail. Unfortunately, there are times when divorce cannot be avoided. In those instances, it is always helpful to have a dedicated and experienced attorney available to help guide you through the arduous process and to ensure that your welfare and interests are protected. Texas divorce costs can be high -with so much at risk, one cannot afford to be lax about legal representation.

Ramos Law Group has spent years helping families overcome divorce. Our team can assist you with managing divorce cost in Texas and making sure that the transition from your marriage is as smooth as possible. Reach out to us for professional insight on how to not just cope with divorce, but how to successfully see yourself to the other side. Contact Ramos Law Group today to schedule your consultation.

Online Divorce Services Are Gaining Popularity

Have you been thinking about getting a divorce? If so, with minimal research, you’ve probably encountered numerous advertisements and articles about online divorce in Texas. This is not by chance. “Online divorce Texas” and “online divorce in Texas for free” are popular search terms because spouses considering divorce are often looking for a simple, inexpensive, or low-stress option to help deal with this high-stress situation. While the prospect of an inexpensive marriage dissolution might seem like a ray of sunshine in the midst of a storm, cutting corners on legal representation with a do-it-yourself divorce can actually cost you significantly more than hiring solid legal counsel in the first place.

Not the Time for DIY

Divorce is a process that manages to affect almost everyone you love and everything you have worked hard to obtain: your children, finances, home, and more. All of your family and possessions must go through the divorce process with you. As such, you will want to make sure that an online divorce in Texas or any approach to divorce you take is the best decisions for yourself, your family and your future. In most cases, that means hiring an experienced divorce attorney who you can trust to help protect your interests and well-being through this difficult time.

While the popularity of do-it-yourself projects has been on the rise in recent years, such undertakings are best suited for remodeling a room or building a piece of furniture. Attempting to go through a divorce, one of life’s most consequential and taxing events, as an online divorce in Texas is likely to result in confusion, frustration, and dissatisfaction – and that is if you are lucky. In less fortunate scenarios, you could end up dealing with errant court orders that do not address financial support, property division, child custody, and other major issues as intended.

Once court orders have been entered, making changes to them can be difficult. Modifications to orders typically require the filing of a new suit, which can carry a monetary cost equal to that of a divorce, if not more. And the additional time and effort required to litigate a new matter guarantee the cost will be more than financial, which is why it is so important to ensure quality legal representation during initial divorce proceedings.

Can Vs. Should

Although Texas spouses have the ability to file their own divorce paperwork and represent themselves in family court, doing so is often ill-advised. As the saying goes: Just because something can be done does not mean that it should. It’s unlikely that any path to an online divorce in Texas for free will yield the best results for you and your family.

If you are looking for true peace of mind and the best possible result to your divorce, consider hiring a reputable family attorney who can guide you through the divorce process, answer your questions and concerns, and get things done correctly the first time. The experienced team at Ramos Law would be happy to help you navigate the divorce process. Call today to schedule a consultation.

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           Once a court order is in place concerning possession and access, parties and their children tend to acclimate to the new schedule without too many problems.  However, if the possessory parent (the parent who does not have the exclusive right to designate the primary residence of the children) has an obstacle when regularly exercising possession, problems can arise. 

            First, it is important to understand that the possessory parent is not required to exercise each and every period of possession awarded to them in the order.  In fact, every order will contain a provision that orders the parties to notify the other parent when they are unable to exercise a period of possession.  

            Second, just because one parent notifies the other parent that they cannot exercise a period of possession, the other parent is not obligated to arrange their schedule to accommodate whatever portion of the period of possession can be exercised. 

            Most of the time, an inability to exercise possession and access is not going to be a problem as parents tend to fall into one of two categories: 1) a parent who exercises nearly every period of possession barring some medical emergency or natural disaster or 2) a parent who never exercises at all.  In these cases, there is a level of predictability for the parents and the children. 

            However, in the rare cases where a parent’s exercise of periods of possession is not as predictable, such as their work schedule is exceedingly difficult to predict, or subject to change, lack of predictability can become a problem for both parents. 

            Enforcement is likely to be a concern for both parents. 

Parents do not want to just sit at home and wait for a parent that may or may not show up.  However, not being at home for the designated periods of possession may make them vulnerable to an enforcement action, which can include fines, attorney’s fees, and even jail.

            Possessory parents who have an everchanging schedule cannot enforce their periods of possession unless they can guarantee that they are where they are supposed to be at when they are supposed to be under the order.  If they have a consistent issue with not being able to be there at the ordered time and place, there only solution may be to file a modification of the underlying order.

            Having open communication with the other parent can help alleviate these problems.  Establishing a consistent method of communication can be helpful.  Our clients have had used a variety of co-parenting apps, such as ourfamilywizard.com, to have a designated method of communication between them and the other parent.   Let the other parent know as soon as an issue arises and what your suggestion would be.  Be considerate of the other parent’s plans when asking for a change in schedule.  Figuring out a method that works for both parents can avoid future litigation.

          Before you even speak to an attorney, it may be helpful to know what court has jurisdiction over your divorce.  Knowing how the Judge in your case is likely to rule and what their pet peeves are can be incredibly beneficial to the presentation of your case so it is important to speak to an attorney who practices often in the jurisdiction in which you will ultimately file your case.  Read this article before you start reaching out to attorneys to make sure you are scheduling a consultation with an attorney who is going to be knowledgeable in your jurisdiction.

                                                              

           The general rule for jurisdiction in a Texas divorce is that at least one spouse must have been a domiciliary of Texas for the preceding 6 month period and a resident of the county in which the suit is filed for the preceding 90 day period.  This means that if the filing spouse is not a resident of Texas, a suit for divorce can still be maintained in Texas if he other spouse has been a domiciliary of Texas for the preceding 6 month period.  Generally, a person has been domiciled in Texas if they have resided in the state with the intent to make Texas his or her “fixed abode”.   The court will consider many factors in determining a person’s “fixed abode” including where a person spends most of their time, where they receive mail, what address is used to file a tax return, where does a person register their vehicle, whether they have a Texas drivers license, and where a person is registered to vote.  A number of factors are considered in determining whether one intends to make a residence a fixed abode so if you are not sure if you or your spouse has been domiciled in Texas for the requisite period of time, it is best to talk to an attorney. 

 

           There are several exceptions to the general rule outlined in the paragraph above for members of the armed forces.  First, time that a spouse spends in the armed forced outside of Texas is still considered residence in the State of Texas and in the county in which they lived.  If you are not sure whether your spouse was previously domiciled in Texas, look at his or her Military Paystub (LES) and see what it lists as their home state.  This will be a strong indicator that they are a domiciliary of Texas.  Second, a spouse is stationed in Texas can meet the jurisdictional requirements despite the fact that they may not intend to make Texas their permanent residence as long as they have been stationed in Texas for the preceding 6 month period and in the filing county for the preceding 90 day period.  These exceptions provide some jurisdictional flexibility for members of the armed forces and their spouses.

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