Understanding Divorce Costs: a Quick Guide

A divorce almost always costs more than anyone would like, but it’s also possible yours will not cost as much as you fear.  In any event, not getting a divorce carries its own set of costs – financial, emotional, and interpersonal.  Those may be even harder to count, but keep in mind the costs of inaction while you try to figure the dollar amount required to take the action you need to take.

At Evans Family Law Group, here in Texas, 3 main factors determine roughly how much your divorce will cost: 

(1) Is it a contested or uncontested divorce? 

A divorce or custody matter where both parties are in agreement – or can amicably reach agreements – is by default easier, faster, and less expensive than a divorce where the parties are in disagreement and conflict and requires court intervention.

(2) How complicated is your divorce, and does it involve child-custody issues? 

Any divorce becomes more complicated when it involves questions of child custody, which may in turn tie in with issues of alienation, education, medical or mental health, visitation, control and management of financial accounts or stock holdings, and disputes over property and other assets.  Also often complicating many divorce cases are issues of mental health, substance abuse, domestic violence, and a range of other factors. 

(3) Which divorce attorney(s) will you work with?  

All the divorce attorneys at Evans Family Law Group in Austin and Bastrop are consummate professionals and can help you to achieve the desired outcome.  You will work with the best and most skilled attorney for you, no matter what.

Still, there is a difference in hourly rate between our most-experienced, Board-certified attorneys and our rising stars.   We do not claim to be the cheapest divorce law firm, but our range of attorneys’ hourly rates allows us to work with clients from many walks of life, in different situations, and with different goals.  Our attorneys’ current rates are as follows:

Though each of our attorneys is highly skilled, each is also uniquely skilled: One attorney’s particular strengths may make him or her the single best fit for a given client.  We will pick the best-fit attorney for your case, usually based on your initial consultation with James Evans.

Closely related to the hourly rate is the retainer.  An attorney’s hourly rate doesn’t inherently make your case less expensive or more expensive,  but rather determines how many hours of legal work your retainer covers.  A typical minimum retainer for our office ranges between $5,000 and $7,500, but we also offer retainers of $3,500 (and sometimes flat fees) or otherwise which is entirely dependent upon the needs and the complexities of your particular case.

The retainer is paid and deposited into an account known as the “Client Trust Account” which is preserved and held just for your particular case.  (It’s similar to an escrow.)  The firm then bills against that retainer, billing in tenth-of-an-hour increments.  Typically, we will send you invoices twice per month, or as often as you request, for you to keep track of how far the retainer has allowed us to progress.

Any balance remaining on a retainer is always refunded.  However, in the event that the balance of the retainer reaches about $1,000 we ask that you replenish the retainer.  The overall costs of your case, and whether and how often you need to replenish that retainer, will depend on the amount of conflict, disagreement, court involvement, and complexities of your case, or a combination of those factors.

Please ask us at any time any questions you may have on billing, invoicing, your retainer, or the estimated costs of your case.  We work for you.

We hope this rough summary has made divorce costs less mysterious, but nothing helps us determine the costs of your case like knowing the details of your situation.  Please contact Evans Family Law Group today for a case evaluation.