To file for divorce in Texas, at least one party must live in the state for six months prior to filing for divorce. One party must also live in the county where you wish to file for a minimum of 90 days. Texas is a mixed state, which means it will grant both fault-based and no-fault divorce. Fault-based cases are uncommon because they require the filing party to prove that the other person committed some wrongdoing that caused the divorce. Unless great wrongdoing has occurred or absolute proof exists, a divorce lawyer typically advises against these cases because of the additional cost and problems that may arise.
On the other hand, a no-fault divorce allows the parties to proceed without assigning blame to either side. You simply state that the marriage has become “insupportable” due to discord and personality conflicts. It’s always a good idea to speak with a divorce lawyer before filing to ensure you file correctly.
Spouses can file for divorce based on several fault grounds, including:
- cruel treatment
- felony conviction
- abandonment for at least one year, or
- confinement in a mental institution for at least three years.
Does My Divorce Lawyer Have to Be in My County?
No, when a lawyer is licensed, they are licensed to practice across the entire state. However, for your convenience, it may be best to choose representation near you.
How Much Does a Divorce Lawyer Cost in Texas?
No divorce case is the same, but there are many common reasons why cases often become drawn out and more costly. Divorces that are high-conflict, filled with disputes, and have spouses unable to work with one another will result in higher legal fees. They also require more time spent going through the divorce process. This is called a contested divorce. You can expect to pay thousands of dollars for every issue that you and your spouse disagree on and require intervention from attorneys and the court.
The least expensive divorce case happens with uncontested divorces because they don’t require court intervention or extensive legal fees. In some instances, this type of divorce can be handled without a lawyer. Most couples will only need to pay the court filing fee and perhaps a smaller fee to a divorce attorney to draft or review your divorce agreement.
What is the Average Retainer Fee for a Divorce Lawyer in Texas?
Family lawyers in Texas hourly rates vary, starting at $150 an hour and could even be as much as $1,200 per hour. Most will collect a retainer at the start of the case, which they pull from as they bill their time. It is not uncommon for contested issues to require more than one retainer. If you are concerned about attorney fees, ask your lawyer for ways to cut down on expenses such as document preparation.
Are Divorce Lawyer Fees Tax Deductible?
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) does not allow deductions for attorney fees, court filing costs, and other expenses obtained during a divorce, legal separation, or spousal support order.
Can Family Law Decisions Be Appealed?
Appeals happen when one spouse disagrees with the judge’s ruling and can provide a fact-based or law-based argument to support their position. Appeals will add additional legal fees because it will require going to court again.
When Should I Hire a Family Lawyer?
Most people going through a divorce decide to hire a lawyer because it is a formal legal process that can confuse and intimidate people who are not lawyers. Because divorce deals with the most important and valuable aspects of your life: kids, real estate, and finances — it is vital to understand your rights to ensure that your future is protected and that you will receive a fair settlement. However, not all divorce cases require legal representation. It is possible that you could use a mediator vs a divorce lawyer.