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Cost Analysis

We did the research for you on the cost of getting a divorce in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Your cost analysis is an estimated range of how much your divorce could cost you based on your survey answers.  

We did the research for you on the cost of getting a divorce in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Your cost analysis is an estimated range of how much your divorce could cost you based on your survey answers.  

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Attorneys

Paying your attorney is normally the most expensive part of a divorce. Your low-end estimate assumes a billable rate of $200 per hour, and the high-end rate assumes a billable rate of $600 per hour.

Attorney billing structures can vary, but it is fairly common for attorneys to require a retainer up front that usually covers the minimum number of billable hours that they believe a case will require. As complications arise, additional payments will be required. Attorneys normally have their own unique billing practices, so there may be room to negotiate depending on your situation.

Generally, you should weigh the cost of fighting out any disputes through your attorney against how much cash you have available to invest in your attorney. If purchasing a new item to replace the disputed item is less than your attorney's hourly rate times the number of hours they will spend fighting for that item, it might make more sense to compromise before involving your attorney. You should consider where you want to spend each billable hour of your attorney’s time and create a priority list of what is important to you. Make sure to share this information with your attorney up front.

 

It may be possible to divorce without the use of an attorney by pursuing a DIY or online divorce. While this could save money in the short term, there are also some potential challenges. In general, if you can afford an attorney, you should hire one. This is especially true if you have children with your spouse or if you and your spouse own property, have investments, own a business, or have cash savings.

Investments

If you and your spouse have sizable investments that will need to be divided, that could add $5,000 or more for extreme cases if a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CFDA) is required. This would only be for those with complex investments in the hundreds of thousands or greater. On the lower end, if only basic retirement accounts need to be divided up with the help of a third party, fees could be around $500. If investments can be easily accounted for and divided, then this is not a cost that needs to be considered.

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Homes

If you plan to sell your home, the realtor fees normally come from the proceeds of the sale at a cost of roughly 6% of the home's value. Your net worth will be reduced, but the transaction would not normally cost you money out of your bank accounts.

 

The same goes for refinancing a home. In the state of Texas, the only way to get your spouse's name off the mortgage is to refinance the home. If you end up being awarded a home in your divorce settlement this will be required, and it could cost from 3% to 6% of the new loan's value. Like the sale of a home, you may be able to avoid using money from your bank accounts by rolling the costs into your newly refinanced loan. A licensed mortgage professional will be able to help you determine if you are able to refinance your home without contributing cash.

Most other costs associated with a divorce are generally small in comparison to the items above. The cost of replacing items that your spouse ends up with, the costs to relocate if you have to move homes, the cost of first and last month's rent value if you choose to rent a new property, and your lost time that you have to invest to make the divorce happen.

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