When it comes to divorce, it’s normal to have all sorts of questions when dealing with emotional, financial, or other types of stress and in our experience we tend to come across the same question more than once. We put together our most frequently asked questions to share with anyone who is contemplating the idea of divorce. It’s our job to provide as much information as possible as we are committed to fight for our clients’ best interests. We’d love to hear your feedback! 1. How much will it cost me to get divorced? This is the one question everyone wants and needs to have answered, but the fact is there is never any way to answer it at the outset of a case, except, “It depends.” It depends on how angry you and your spouse are. It depends on how much each of you know about your assets and liabilities. The less each of you needs to vent and wants to fight, and the more each of you knows about your property, the less it will cost. It depends on whether you anticipate a custody battle, or whether you and your spouse can work out reasonable agreements about your children. It depends on the lawyer your spouse hires. In many instances, the more competent your spouse’s lawyer, the less the case will cost. At Puhl and Berbarie we are very cost conscious and guard your money as carefully as we possibly can. All of our family law attorneys are Board Certified, and we customarily allocate tasks to the person who can competently complete the work at the lowest cost to you.
2. How long will it take to get divorced? The law requires that a minimum of sixty days must pass between the date you or your spouse files a petition for divorce and the date the court can grant your divorce. Practically speaking, though, very few divorces are completed within that sixty-day window. Six months is a better rule of thumb. It takes time to gather all the information needed to have a good picture of your marital estate, and if expert opinions will be needed on valuation or custody recommendations that will take additional time. If your case cannot be settled without trial, it will take time to get a spot on the court’s docket. 3. Will I have to go to court? Not usually. The great majority of all divorce cases are resolved without a trial.4. Will I get half of everything? No, it is not correct that each spouse will get half of each piece of property, or even half of the overall amount of the property. Many people mistakenly believe that because Texas is a community property state, each spouse owns one-half of the property. What it means is that all of the property acquired during the marriage belongs to the community estate, rather than to the spouses. At divorce, the law requires that the community property be divided in a just and right fashion. That may be 50-50 and may not be. The judge is instructed by the law to consider the respective earning capacity of each spouse, the amount of property each will be receiving in the property division, the age and health of the spouses, and numerous other factors. Just and right can be anything from 50-50 to 0-100, although most property divisions fall somewhere between 60-40 and 50-50.5. Will my spouse have to pay my attorney’s fees? Typically, attorney’s fees are factored into the final property division. As a rule, you will be expected to pay your fees as the case begins and progresses, and that will be equalized at the end of the case.We hope these answers bring more clarity but of course, not every case is the same. We encourage you contact our Board Certified Family Law Firm for additional information.