LetsGetDivorced.com
(855) 254-1214
Log In >
 

Cost of Divorce
in Texas:
 
Top Strategies
for Savings

Written By: Jerry Bruckner
Updated: November 1, 2023
SHARE:
cost of divorce

Cost of Divorce
in Texas:
 
Top Strategies
for Savings
Cost of Divorce in Texas:
 
Top Strategies for Savings

Written By: Jerry Bruckner
Updated: November 1, 2023
SHARE:
cost of divorce

Introduction

Deciding to get divorced is a very important decision. Among the crucial factors to consider when making this decision, the cost of getting divorced stands out as one of the most important aspects to know about, so you can lower your cost of getting divorced.

What Is The Average Cost of a Divorce in Texas?

The cost of a divorce in Texas can vary significantly due to a multitude of factors. This makes it difficult to pinpoint an average cost, as the circumstances surrounding each divorce case are unique. There are several distinct types of divorces and variations in the divorce process used, each with its own set of variables that influence the overall expense.
Given this wide array of variables, it's clear that there is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question: "what is the average cost of divorce in Texas?" The total cost of a divorce depends on a combination of these factors and the specific circumstances of the individuals involved and the decisions they make regarding how to proceed with their divorce.

What You Will Learn In This Article

In this blog, we will explore and provide a comprehensive overview of the key factors and decisions that can affect the cost of a divorce in Texas, and offer options that can minimize the cost. Our goal in writing this article is to educate people contemplating divorce with this information, so that they will have the knowledge to make informed decisions that will affect the overall cost of their divorce.

Factors That Influence the Cost of Divorce:

When it comes to the cost of divorce, various factors come into play, shaping the financial landscape of this significant life event. In this section, we will explore these influential factors and provide insights into how they impact the overall expense of divorce proceedings. We'll start by discussing one of the most crucial cost factors: time.

Time Is a Crucial Cost Factor

The saying "time is money" holds true in divorce proceedings. The longer the divorce process takes, the higher the associated costs. Conversely, a shorter time for the divorce process produces lower expenses. To lower the overall cost of your divorce, it's essential to expedite and lower the amount of time for the divorce process.

How Different Aspects Impact Time and Cost

We will examine the various aspects of divorce, examining how each affects the time for the process and consequently influences the cost of the divorce to be higher or lower. Additionally, we will highlight fixed costs that are unaffected by time, such as the court filing fees charged by the state of Texas.

The Texas Divorce Process: A Basic Overview

Before we dive into the financial aspects, let's gain a fundamental understanding of the divorce process in Texas. At its core, divorcing in Texas involves three main steps:
  • Completing the required divorce forms correctly.
  • Filing these completed forms with the court.
  • A judge's review of the documents and their decision on whether to grant the divorce.
Each of these steps can incur various costs, and the choices made by the divorcing couple can significantly impact these expenses.

Types of Divorce: Uncontested vs. Contested

In Texas, two primary types of divorce processes exist: uncontested and contested divorces. These different approaches have a substantial impact on the overall cost of divorce.

Understanding Contested Divorces

In a contested divorce, also known as a disputed divorce, spouses do not see eye to eye on one or more divorce-related issues. Consequently, they must present their arguments in court to convince a judge to decide in their favor on each disputed issue.
An example of a contested issue is when one spouse seeks spousal support (alimony) while the other spouse opposes it. Any such disputes that require a judge's intervention can substantially increase the cost of divorce. Notably, attorney fees are a major cost factor in contested divorces.

Attorney Fees in a Contested Divorce

The most substantial cost factor in contested divorces is attorney fees.
In contested divorces, each spouse typically retains their own attorney. Attorneys must prepare for and attend multiple court conferences, engage in very detailed and time-consuming pre-trial discovery including depositions, writing, and arguing motions, and conducting a trial before a judge to support and prove their clients' position on contested issues.
In Texas, divorce attorneys charge an average hourly rate of $250-$500, depending on their experience. The number of hours an attorney dedicates to a divorce case varies based on its complexity.
For instance, consider a straightforward contested divorce where each spouse has their own attorney and they each spend 30 hours meeting with their client, completing the divorce forms, filing documents, attending pre-trial settlement conferences, engaging in motion practice and other pre-trial discovery, and representing their client at a trial before a judge. At an average hourly rate of $300, each attorney's fee would amount to $9,000, collectively adding $18,000 to the overall divorce cost.

The Best Way to Reduce Costs in Contested Divorces

Contested divorces often lead to substantial expenses, primarily driven by hiring experienced divorce attorneys and potential experts. The most effective means of curtailing these costs is to reach an agreement with your spouse on all divorce-related matters, to avoid costly attorney fees for representation on disputed issues and related expert fees.

Understanding Uncontested Divorces

Uncontested divorces occur when both spouses are in agreement on all divorce terms. This expedites the process, making it simpler and more cost-effective than contested divorces, where disagreements necessitate a judge's intervention.

Attorney Fees in Uncontested Divorces

As previously discussed, attorney fees can be a significant cost, especially in contested divorces. Let's compare the costs associated with contested and uncontested divorces.
In our example contested divorce, where disputes between the spouses require extensive legal representation by an attorney, a divorce attorney with average experience may spend approximately 30 hours on the case from beginning to end.
In an uncontested divorce, attorneys have much less to do, so they will charge for fewer hours. Most of their work involves filling out the divorce papers, filing them with the court, and appearing at and representing their client at a "prove-up" hearing before a judge at which the judge can issue an order granting the divorce and any additional relief that was asked for in the divorce papers.
On average, an attorney can typically complete these tasks in about 10 hours, the breakdown being:
  • 6 hours to complete the divorce papers and get them signed.
  • 2 hours to file the divorce papers.
  • 2 hours to attend the "prove-up" hearing.
It's worth noting that these are just estimates. Some attorneys will take less time, while others will take more time.
The attorney's fee can be calculated by multiplying their hourly rate $300, by the estimated 10 hours of work. This results in a total fee of $3,000 for one attorney. In uncontested divorces, both spouses often have their own attorneys. One attorney typically handles the paperwork and then sends it to the other spouse's attorney for review and any necessary revisions. In our example, we will adopt that both attorneys spent the same amount of time working on the divorce forms to produce a final agreed version. So, the second attorney's fee is also $3,000. In total, the legal fees for both attorneys would amount to $6,000.
To emphasize the significant cost difference: we have seen that the cost for attorney fees in our example contested divorce is $18,000, while the cost for attorney fees in our example uncontested divorce was a third of that amount, only $6,000. Moreover, in an uncontested divorce, couples have the option to further reduce costs by agreeing to hire a single attorney to represent both parties. This choice brings the attorney legal fees down to $3,000 for preparing the divorce papers.
It's clear that if you and your spouse are considering divorce, one of the most effective ways to minimize costs is to maintain open communication and strive to reach agreements on all divorce-related matters. This collaborative approach enables both of you to pursue an uncontested divorce and benefit from its streamlined divorce process that takes less time to complete, resulting in lower overall expenses compared to the complexities of a contested divorce.
It's worth noting that some uncontested divorces are exceptionally straightforward. In such cases, there are no contentious issues to resolve. These simple divorces typically involve couples who don't have minor children, possess no joint marital property or debts to divide, aren't seeking spousal support (alimony), and don't have any claims against each other in the divorce. In these very simple, uncontested divorces, the spouses are only seeking a judge's order to dissolve their marriage.

Additional Cost Savings in Uncontested Divorces

Another cost-saving advantage of filing an uncontested divorce is that there is no need to use and pay for a process server to serve copies of the divorce documents on the respondent spouse because they can sign a waiver document where they agree to accept all the divorce documents without requiring a process server to be used.

The Texas Court Filing Fee

To support the Texas court system, a filing fee is required when filing a divorce petition with the court. This fee can vary from one county to another in Texas, typically ranging between $250 and $320.

Requesting a Fee Waiver

If you are unable to afford the court filing fee, you have the option to request a waiver. To do this, complete and file a Statement of Inability to Afford Payment of Court Costs.

Clarifying Attorney Legal Fees and the Court Filing Fee

An attorney's client is responsible for paying the attorney's legal fee for the work they perform on their client's case. In addition, the client is responsible for paying the court filing fee, unless a waiver form is properly filed and approved by a judge.
When an individual filing for divorce is represented by an attorney, the attorney will bill the client for the court's filing fee. The attorney will then submit the divorce paperwork to the court along with the payment for the filing fee.

Options to Reduce Divorce Costs

The following are ways to reduce the cost of divorce.

1. File an Uncontested Divorce

Maintaining open communication with your spouse and reaching an agreement with them on all divorce-related matters is crucial for reducing the cost of your divorce. This allows you to file for an uncontested divorce, which has a simpler and less costly process compared to contested divorces.

2. Mediation

Mediation offers a cost-effective method for divorcing couples to reach agreements on all divorce-related matters, enabling them to file for an uncontested divorce. A neutral mediator facilitates discussions between spouses to help them come to mutual agreements. Mediation can be non-binding or result in legally binding agreements.

3. Unbundled Legal Services

Unbundled legal services involve an arrangement between an attorney and their client where the attorney handles specific legal tasks for a particular legal matter rather than providing comprehensive end-to-end representation for that legal matter.
For example, consider divorcing spouses who have agreed to pursue an uncontested divorce to reduce the cost of their divorce. Instead of hiring an attorney to represent both of them throughout the entire divorce process, they choose to retain the attorney for a specific set of tasks. In this scenario, the attorney's responsibilities are limited to: drafting the divorce papers; providing instructions on filing the documents with the court; and guiding the clients on attending the brief "prove-up" hearing before a judge, who can grant the divorce if everything is in order.
As previously estimated, it typically takes an attorney with average skill and experience about 6 hours to complete the uncontested divorce paperwork and obtain the necessary signatures. If the attorney is hired to provide unbundled legal services, focusing solely on meeting with the client, preparing the ready-to-file divorce papers, and offering instructions for court filing and the "prove-up" hearing, the attorney's legal fee would be calculated by multiplying the number of hours by an average hourly rate of $300, resulting in a total legal fee of $1,800.
In our previous example, we have seen that the legal fee for one attorney to represent both spouses and handle the entire divorce from beginning to end is $3,000. Thus, the unbundled attorney legal fee of $1,800, which covers only the completion of divorce forms and filing instructions, represents a cost savings of $1,200 compared to the more costly scenario where the attorney is retained to handle the entire divorce and court representation.
Reminder, the court filing fee that also needs to be paid unless waived ranges between $250 and $320.

4. DIY Divorce

A do-it-yourself (DIY) divorce is the cheapest way to get a divorce because you represent yourself and handle all aspects of the divorce without an attorney's involvement, so there are no attorney legal fees. The only expense is the court filing fee, which can be waived if a fee waiver request is filed and approved by a judge.
Reminder, the court filing fee that must be paid unless waived ranges between $250 and $320.
Here's what the spouses need to do in a DIY divorce:
File the Documents: They are responsible for filing all the necessary documents with the court.
Pay the Filing Fee: This includes paying the court filing fee or applying for a fee waiver.
Appear at the Prove-Up Hearing: They attend the prove-up hearing, where a judge can grant the divorce if everything is in order.
Note: the spouse who files the petition for divorce must attend the prove-up hearing, and the respondent spouse has the option to attend the hearing or file a waiver document that indicates that they will not attend the hearing and request the court to grant the divorce and approve any agreements with their spouse that are in the divorce papers.
While a DIY divorce is the most affordable divorce option, it comes with complexities and drawbacks. The specific, up-to-date divorce forms required for their divorce must be located, filled out correctly, and filed with the court. Although the Texas court system provides free Texas divorce forms and instructions on how to complete them, many people find it challenging to understand how to fill them out, file them, and how to handle the prove-up hearing.
It is crucial to know that mistakes in filling out the divorce forms, or using the wrong forms, or not filing them correctly can result in the document(s) being considered "defective" by the court, leading to rejection and delays for your divorce. At that point, it may be unclear what is wrong with the documents or how to rectify the issues, because court personnel are not allowed to provide legal advice.

5. Online Divorce Services

Online divorce services streamline the process of filling out divorce forms and provide guidance on filing documents with the court, as well as navigating the prove-up hearing where a judge can grant the divorce.

Simplifying Divorce Form Completion

The availability of cost-effective and user-friendly online divorce services, such as LetsGetDivorced.com, has transformed the way individuals complete divorce forms. Unlike a DIY divorce, where you would need to figure out which forms to use, how to obtain them, complete and file them, online divorce services offer a straightforward solution.
LetsGetDivorced.com's Texas online divorce service automatically selects the appropriate divorce forms based on your provided information. The software then populates these forms with your details, instantly generating completed, ready-to-file divorce forms and filing instructions accessible through your online account. This allows for document review and any necessary changes before signing and filing the paperwork with the court.
LetsGetDivorced.com also provides free access to their friendly and knowledgeable customer support team.

Cost of Online Divorce Services

LetsGetDivorced.com charges a flat fee of only $99 for its online divorce service to complete the divorce forms for filing an uncontested divorce. The total cost to file for an uncontested divorce in Texas using this online service is $99, in addition to the court filing fee which is paid directly to the court. The court filing fee varies by county and typically ranges from $250 to $320. It's important to point out that the court fee can be waived by a judge if the petitioner cannot afford to pay it and files a fee waiver request.

Conclusion

In summary, when considering the cost of divorce in Texas, it's essential to weigh various factors that can significantly impact your expenses throughout the process. Divorce costs can vary widely depending on whether it's contested or uncontested, the choice of legal representation, and the approach you take. Here are some key takeaways to help you make an informed decision:
1. Contested vs. Uncontested: Contested divorces, where disagreements require judicial intervention, often result in higher costs due to attorney fees and expert involvement. On the other hand, uncontested divorces, where both spouses agree on all terms, are generally more affordable and straightforward.
2. Attorney Fees: Attorney fees are a major cost factor in divorce, and they can vary based on the complexity of the case. Contested divorces with two separate attorneys can be substantially more expensive than uncontested divorces, where both spouses may share a single attorney to reduce costs.
3. Unbundled Legal Services: Unbundled legal services offer an option to hire an attorney for specific tasks rather than comprehensive representation. This approach can help reduce costs, especially in uncontested cases.
4. DIY Divorce: A do-it-yourself (DIY) divorce where you represent yourself and handle the entire divorce without assistance from an attorney is the cheapest way to get divorced because it has no attorney legal fees, and the only expense is the court filing fee, which can be waived if a waiver request is filed and granted by a judge. However, DIY divorce can be very challenging, requires careful attention to detail, can be complex for those unfamiliar with the divorce process, and is very prone to making mistakes filling out the forms which can lead to them being rejected by the court.
5. Online Divorce Services: Online divorce services, such as LetsGetDivorced.com, offer an exceptionally affordable and user-friendly solution to the challenges of a traditional DIY divorce. These services simplify the process of completing divorce forms for filing an uncontested divorce, providing clear instructions on filing documents with the court and navigating the prove-up hearing. Additionally, they provide free access to their customer support team. All of this is available at a fraction of the cost of a traditional attorney-led divorce. For these reasons, online divorce services can be considered the second cheapest way to get divorced, with only a DIY divorce being cheaper. However, it is by far the easiest way to complete your divorce forms and handle your own divorce without incurring expenses for attorney legal fees.
6. Court Filing Fee: The court filing fee in Texas varies by county, typically ranging from $250 to $320. It's important to note that fee waivers are available from the court for those who cannot afford the filing fee.
In conclusion, the most cost-effective way to file for an uncontested divorce in Texas is through online divorce services such as LetsGetDivorced.com. While a DIY divorce is the cheapest way to get a divorce, it can be challenging and prone to mistakes. Online divorce offers ease-of-use, affordability, and peace of mind, making it a practical choice for couples seeking a straightforward divorce process where you have someone to turn to if you have any questions about using the service. Remember to consider your specific circumstances and budget when deciding the best approach for your divorce.

Complete your divorce papers online for just $99

Cost of Divorce
in Texas:
 
Top Strategies
for Savings

Written By: Jerry Bruckner
Updated: November 1, 2023
SHARE:
cost of divorce

Cost of Divorce
in Texas:
 
Top Strategies
for Savings
Cost of Divorce in Texas:
 
Top Strategies for Savings

Written By: Jerry Bruckner
Updated: November 1, 2023
SHARE:
cost of divorce

Introduction

Deciding to get divorced is a very important decision. Among the crucial factors to consider when making this decision, the cost of getting divorced stands out as one of the most important aspects to know about, so you can lower your cost of getting divorced.

What Is The Average Cost of a Divorce in Texas?

The cost of a divorce in Texas can vary significantly due to a multitude of factors. This makes it difficult to pinpoint an average cost, as the circumstances surrounding each divorce case are unique. There are several distinct types of divorces and variations in the divorce process used, each with its own set of variables that influence the overall expense.
Given this wide array of variables, it's clear that there is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question: "what is the average cost of divorce in Texas?" The total cost of a divorce depends on a combination of these factors and the specific circumstances of the individuals involved and the decisions they make regarding how to proceed with their divorce.

What You Will Learn In This Article

In this blog, we will explore and provide a comprehensive overview of the key factors and decisions that can affect the cost of a divorce in Texas, and offer options that can minimize the cost. Our goal in writing this article is to educate people contemplating divorce with this information, so that they will have the knowledge to make informed decisions that will affect the overall cost of their divorce.

Factors That Influence the Cost of Divorce:

When it comes to the cost of divorce, various factors come into play, shaping the financial landscape of this significant life event. In this section, we will explore these influential factors and provide insights into how they impact the overall expense of divorce proceedings. We'll start by discussing one of the most crucial cost factors: time.

Time Is a Crucial Cost Factor

The saying "time is money" holds true in divorce proceedings. The longer the divorce process takes, the higher the associated costs. Conversely, a shorter time for the divorce process produces lower expenses. To lower the overall cost of your divorce, it's essential to expedite and lower the amount of time for the divorce process.

How Different Aspects Impact Time and Cost

We will examine the various aspects of divorce, examining how each affects the time for the process and consequently influences the cost of the divorce to be higher or lower. Additionally, we will highlight fixed costs that are unaffected by time, such as the court filing fees charged by the state of Texas.

The Texas Divorce Process: A Basic Overview

Before we dive into the financial aspects, let's gain a fundamental understanding of the divorce process in Texas. At its core, divorcing in Texas involves three main steps:
  • Completing the required divorce forms correctly.
  • Filing these completed forms with the court.
  • A judge's review of the documents and their decision on whether to grant the divorce.
Each of these steps can incur various costs, and the choices made by the divorcing couple can significantly impact these expenses.

Types of Divorce: Uncontested vs. Contested

In Texas, two primary types of divorce processes exist: uncontested and contested divorces. These different approaches have a substantial impact on the overall cost of divorce.

Understanding Contested Divorces

In a contested divorce, also known as a disputed divorce, spouses do not see eye to eye on one or more divorce-related issues. Consequently, they must present their arguments in court to convince a judge to decide in their favor on each disputed issue.
An example of a contested issue is when one spouse seeks spousal support (alimony) while the other spouse opposes it. Any such disputes that require a judge's intervention can substantially increase the cost of divorce. Notably, attorney fees are a major cost factor in contested divorces.

Attorney Fees in a Contested Divorce

The most substantial cost factor in contested divorces is attorney fees.
In contested divorces, each spouse typically retains their own attorney. Attorneys must prepare for and attend multiple court conferences, engage in very detailed and time-consuming pre-trial discovery including depositions, writing, and arguing motions, and conducting a trial before a judge to support and prove their clients' position on contested issues.
In Texas, divorce attorneys charge an average hourly rate of $250-$500, depending on their experience. The number of hours an attorney dedicates to a divorce case varies based on its complexity.
For instance, consider a straightforward contested divorce where each spouse has their own attorney and they each spend 30 hours meeting with their client, completing the divorce forms, filing documents, attending pre-trial settlement conferences, engaging in motion practice and other pre-trial discovery, and representing their client at a trial before a judge. At an average hourly rate of $300, each attorney's fee would amount to $9,000, collectively adding $18,000 to the overall divorce cost.

The Best Way to Reduce Costs in Contested Divorces

Contested divorces often lead to substantial expenses, primarily driven by hiring experienced divorce attorneys and potential experts. The most effective means of curtailing these costs is to reach an agreement with your spouse on all divorce-related matters, to avoid costly attorney fees for representation on disputed issues and related expert fees.

Understanding Uncontested Divorces

Uncontested divorces occur when both spouses are in agreement on all divorce terms. This expedites the process, making it simpler and more cost-effective than contested divorces, where disagreements necessitate a judge's intervention.

Attorney Fees in Uncontested Divorces

As previously discussed, attorney fees can be a significant cost, especially in contested divorces. Let's compare the costs associated with contested and uncontested divorces.
In our example contested divorce, where disputes between the spouses require extensive legal representation by an attorney, a divorce attorney with average experience may spend approximately 30 hours on the case from beginning to end.
In an uncontested divorce, attorneys have much less to do, so they will charge for fewer hours. Most of their work involves filling out the divorce papers, filing them with the court, and appearing at and representing their client at a "prove-up" hearing before a judge at which the judge can issue an order granting the divorce and any additional relief that was asked for in the divorce papers.
On average, an attorney can typically complete these tasks in about 10 hours, the breakdown being:
  • 6 hours to complete the divorce papers and get them signed.
  • 2 hours to file the divorce papers.
  • 2 hours to attend the "prove-up" hearing.
It's worth noting that these are just estimates. Some attorneys will take less time, while others will take more time.
The attorney's fee can be calculated by multiplying their hourly rate $300, by the estimated 10 hours of work. This results in a total fee of $3,000 for one attorney. In uncontested divorces, both spouses often have their own attorneys. One attorney typically handles the paperwork and then sends it to the other spouse's attorney for review and any necessary revisions. In our example, we will adopt that both attorneys spent the same amount of time working on the divorce forms to produce a final agreed version. So, the second attorney's fee is also $3,000. In total, the legal fees for both attorneys would amount to $6,000.
To emphasize the significant cost difference: we have seen that the cost for attorney fees in our example contested divorce is $18,000, while the cost for attorney fees in our example uncontested divorce was a third of that amount, only $6,000. Moreover, in an uncontested divorce, couples have the option to further reduce costs by agreeing to hire a single attorney to represent both parties. This choice brings the attorney legal fees down to $3,000 for preparing the divorce papers.
It's clear that if you and your spouse are considering divorce, one of the most effective ways to minimize costs is to maintain open communication and strive to reach agreements on all divorce-related matters. This collaborative approach enables both of you to pursue an uncontested divorce and benefit from its streamlined divorce process that takes less time to complete, resulting in lower overall expenses compared to the complexities of a contested divorce.
It's worth noting that some uncontested divorces are exceptionally straightforward. In such cases, there are no contentious issues to resolve. These simple divorces typically involve couples who don't have minor children, possess no joint marital property or debts to divide, aren't seeking spousal support (alimony), and don't have any claims against each other in the divorce. In these very simple, uncontested divorces, the spouses are only seeking a judge's order to dissolve their marriage.

Additional Cost Savings in Uncontested Divorces

Another cost-saving advantage of filing an uncontested divorce is that there is no need to use and pay for a process server to serve copies of the divorce documents on the respondent spouse because they can sign a waiver document where they agree to accept all the divorce documents without requiring a process server to be used.

The Texas Court Filing Fee

To support the Texas court system, a filing fee is required when filing a divorce petition with the court. This fee can vary from one county to another in Texas, typically ranging between $250 and $320.

Requesting a Fee Waiver

If you are unable to afford the court filing fee, you have the option to request a waiver. To do this, complete and file a Statement of Inability to Afford Payment of Court Costs.

Clarifying Attorney Legal Fees and the Court Filing Fee

An attorney's client is responsible for paying the attorney's legal fee for the work they perform on their client's case. In addition, the client is responsible for paying the court filing fee, unless a waiver form is properly filed and approved by a judge.
When an individual filing for divorce is represented by an attorney, the attorney will bill the client for the court's filing fee. The attorney will then submit the divorce paperwork to the court along with the payment for the filing fee.

Options to Reduce Divorce Costs

The following are ways to reduce the cost of divorce.

1. File an Uncontested Divorce

Maintaining open communication with your spouse and reaching an agreement with them on all divorce-related matters is crucial for reducing the cost of your divorce. This allows you to file for an uncontested divorce, which has a simpler and less costly process compared to contested divorces.

2. Mediation

Mediation offers a cost-effective method for divorcing couples to reach agreements on all divorce-related matters, enabling them to file for an uncontested divorce. A neutral mediator facilitates discussions between spouses to help them come to mutual agreements. Mediation can be non-binding or result in legally binding agreements.

3. Unbundled Legal Services

Unbundled legal services involve an arrangement between an attorney and their client where the attorney handles specific legal tasks for a particular legal matter rather than providing comprehensive end-to-end representation for that legal matter.
For example, consider divorcing spouses who have agreed to pursue an uncontested divorce to reduce the cost of their divorce. Instead of hiring an attorney to represent both of them throughout the entire divorce process, they choose to retain the attorney for a specific set of tasks. In this scenario, the attorney's responsibilities are limited to: drafting the divorce papers; providing instructions on filing the documents with the court; and guiding the clients on attending the brief "prove-up" hearing before a judge, who can grant the divorce if everything is in order.
As previously estimated, it typically takes an attorney with average skill and experience about 6 hours to complete the uncontested divorce paperwork and obtain the necessary signatures. If the attorney is hired to provide unbundled legal services, focusing solely on meeting with the client, preparing the ready-to-file divorce papers, and offering instructions for court filing and the "prove-up" hearing, the attorney's legal fee would be calculated by multiplying the number of hours by an average hourly rate of $300, resulting in a total legal fee of $1,800.
In our previous example, we have seen that the legal fee for one attorney to represent both spouses and handle the entire divorce from beginning to end is $3,000. Thus, the unbundled attorney legal fee of $1,800, which covers only the completion of divorce forms and filing instructions, represents a cost savings of $1,200 compared to the more costly scenario where the attorney is retained to handle the entire divorce and court representation.
Reminder, the court filing fee that also needs to be paid unless waived ranges between $250 and $320.

4. DIY Divorce

A do-it-yourself (DIY) divorce is the cheapest way to get a divorce because you represent yourself and handle all aspects of the divorce without an attorney's involvement, so there are no attorney legal fees. The only expense is the court filing fee, which can be waived if a fee waiver request is filed and approved by a judge.
Reminder, the court filing fee that must be paid unless waived ranges between $250 and $320.
Here's what the spouses need to do in a DIY divorce:
File the Documents: They are responsible for filing all the necessary documents with the court.
Pay the Filing Fee: This includes paying the court filing fee or applying for a fee waiver.
Appear at the Prove-Up Hearing: They attend the prove-up hearing, where a judge can grant the divorce if everything is in order.
Note: the spouse who files the petition for divorce must attend the prove-up hearing, and the respondent spouse has the option to attend the hearing or file a waiver document that indicates that they will not attend the hearing and request the court to grant the divorce and approve any agreements with their spouse that are in the divorce papers.
While a DIY divorce is the most affordable divorce option, it comes with complexities and drawbacks. The specific, up-to-date divorce forms required for their divorce must be located, filled out correctly, and filed with the court. Although the Texas court system provides free Texas divorce forms and instructions on how to complete them, many people find it challenging to understand how to fill them out, file them, and how to handle the prove-up hearing.
It is crucial to know that mistakes in filling out the divorce forms, or using the wrong forms, or not filing them correctly can result in the document(s) being considered "defective" by the court, leading to rejection and delays for your divorce. At that point, it may be unclear what is wrong with the documents or how to rectify the issues, because court personnel are not allowed to provide legal advice.

5. Online Divorce Services

Online divorce services streamline the process of filling out divorce forms and provide guidance on filing documents with the court, as well as navigating the prove-up hearing where a judge can grant the divorce.

Simplifying Divorce Form Completion

The availability of cost-effective and user-friendly online divorce services, such as LetsGetDivorced.com, has transformed the way individuals complete divorce forms. Unlike a DIY divorce, where you would need to figure out which forms to use, how to obtain them, complete and file them, online divorce services offer a straightforward solution.
LetsGetDivorced.com's Texas online divorce service automatically selects the appropriate divorce forms based on your provided information. The software then populates these forms with your details, instantly generating completed, ready-to-file divorce forms and filing instructions accessible through your online account. This allows for document review and any necessary changes before signing and filing the paperwork with the court.
LetsGetDivorced.com also provides free access to their friendly and knowledgeable customer support team.

Cost of Online Divorce Services

LetsGetDivorced.com charges a flat fee of only $99 for its online divorce service to complete the divorce forms for filing an uncontested divorce. The total cost to file for an uncontested divorce in Texas using this online service is $99, in addition to the court filing fee which is paid directly to the court. The court filing fee varies by county and typically ranges from $250 to $320. It's important to point out that the court fee can be waived by a judge if the petitioner cannot afford to pay it and files a fee waiver request.

Conclusion

In summary, when considering the cost of divorce in Texas, it's essential to weigh various factors that can significantly impact your expenses throughout the process. Divorce costs can vary widely depending on whether it's contested or uncontested, the choice of legal representation, and the approach you take. Here are some key takeaways to help you make an informed decision:
1. Contested vs. Uncontested: Contested divorces, where disagreements require judicial intervention, often result in higher costs due to attorney fees and expert involvement. On the other hand, uncontested divorces, where both spouses agree on all terms, are generally more affordable and straightforward.
2. Attorney Fees: Attorney fees are a major cost factor in divorce, and they can vary based on the complexity of the case. Contested divorces with two separate attorneys can be substantially more expensive than uncontested divorces, where both spouses may share a single attorney to reduce costs.
3. Unbundled Legal Services: Unbundled legal services offer an option to hire an attorney for specific tasks rather than comprehensive representation. This approach can help reduce costs, especially in uncontested cases.
4. DIY Divorce: A do-it-yourself (DIY) divorce where you represent yourself and handle the entire divorce without assistance from an attorney is the cheapest way to get divorced because it has no attorney legal fees, and the only expense is the court filing fee, which can be waived if a waiver request is filed and granted by a judge. However, DIY divorce can be very challenging, requires careful attention to detail, can be complex for those unfamiliar with the divorce process, and is very prone to making mistakes filling out the forms which can lead to them being rejected by the court.
5. Online Divorce Services: Online divorce services, such as LetsGetDivorced.com, offer an exceptionally affordable and user-friendly solution to the challenges of a traditional DIY divorce. These services simplify the process of completing divorce forms for filing an uncontested divorce, providing clear instructions on filing documents with the court and navigating the prove-up hearing. Additionally, they provide free access to their customer support team. All of this is available at a fraction of the cost of a traditional attorney-led divorce. For these reasons, online divorce services can be considered the second cheapest way to get divorced, with only a DIY divorce being cheaper. However, it is by far the easiest way to complete your divorce forms and handle your own divorce without incurring expenses for attorney legal fees.
6. Court Filing Fee: The court filing fee in Texas varies by county, typically ranging from $250 to $320. It's important to note that fee waivers are available from the court for those who cannot afford the filing fee.
In conclusion, the most cost-effective way to file for an uncontested divorce in Texas is through online divorce services such as LetsGetDivorced.com. While a DIY divorce is the cheapest way to get a divorce, it can be challenging and prone to mistakes. Online divorce offers ease-of-use, affordability, and peace of mind, making it a practical choice for couples seeking a straightforward divorce process where you have someone to turn to if you have any questions about using the service. Remember to consider your specific circumstances and budget when deciding the best approach for your divorce.
 
LetsGetDivorced: uncontested online divorce
Complete your Texas divorce
paperwork online for $99.
 
Get Started
 
 

Steps to File an Online Divorce

1 See if you qualify and create your account.
2 Answer questions about your divorce.
3 File for divorce with your local court.
 

Contact Us

You have questions?
We have answers...
(855) 254-1214