If we look at the statistics on the finances of divorce, we will see that the average cost of a divorce in Texas isn’t too oppressive. The average cost of a divorce for a couple without children is between $15,000 to $20,000, and for a couple with children it is between $20,000 and $25,000. These are not small sums, but they also aren’t exceedingly large, particularly when we consider what may be at stake in the divorce, such as child support, retirement accounts, the residence, spousal support, etc.
The problem with these kinds of statistics, however, is that they can fail to present the full complexity of a situation. The cost of any given divorce, for instance, can vary greatly from these averages, and there is a plethora of factors which contribute toward the final cost of a divorce. If any one of those factors is not handled properly, the cost of the entire divorce can increase substantially. In this post, we will discuss a few of the worst financial mistakes that people should avoid in a divorce in Texas.
Stubbornly Dragging Out Mediation
Rather than going through litigation, and resolving disputes in a formal way, couples can resolve disputes via mediation. Mediation offers a less stressful and less financially burdensome way to resolve disputes and finalize the divorce. Although mediation is almost always the financially superior option, it isn’t free, and this route can add up if couples have multiple sessions. Mediators typically charge an hourly rate, and so multiple mediation sessions will cause the bill to rise. If a person stubbornly drags out the mediation process, this can dramatically lift the cost of the divorce.
Engaging in Lengthy Custody Battles
Stubbornness doesn’t just hurt when it comes to mediation, it can also cause problems with specific disputes within the divorce. When couples engage in lengthy custody battles, this can come with a hefty price tag. The reason is because lawyers charge high rates when they litigate issues such as child custody in court, and so a long custody battle will mean heavy legal fees. Often, a lawyer will need to take multiple steps to achieve a simple aim within this battle. There are motions, notices, court appearances, discovery, possible testimony, and so forth. If the battle is over a very legitimate concern, then the costs shouldn’t be a major deterrent. But sadly, couples often engage in these fights out of spite or damaged egos, and this can have serious financial repercussions.
Hiding Assets in Property Division
Another big mistake you should avoid is hiding assets in divorce. Texas is a community property state, which basically means that marital property is divided equitably during divorce. Marital property essentially refers to property acquired during the marriage itself. If a person opens up an investment account during the marriage, this is considered marital property, even if the person who established the account didn’t reveal it to his or her partner. When a couple divorces, the parties must disclose all marital property to the court and their spouse. In some cases, a partner will hide assets from the other party and the court because that person simply wishes to retain possession of those assets. If the court discovers hidden assets – and in most cases, they do find them – the consequences can be very serious. Often, Texas judges may assign ownership of the hidden property to the innocent party, and there can be additional fines and penalties as well. In short, this is certainly a mistake which should be avoided.
Contact Divorce Concierge for More Information
These are just a few of the mistakes which can increase the overall cost of a divorce in Texas. For more information, get in touch with Divorce Concierge today or contact us at assistant@DivorceConcierge.com.