How to budget for a cost friendly divorce in Texas
We have all heard stories of friends and family members who have paid half a year’s salary for a family law attorney. If you are going through the process of figuring out if a divorce is something you need to begin then this is probably among the foremost of your fears. You want to have your children be protected. You want your time with relationship with them to be protected as well. This is no mention nothing of your property and savings that you’ve worked your entire adult life for. The big question is: is there anything you can do to help prepare yourself financially for this huge life-decision?
Fortunately the answer is, yes, you can do something to help prepare yourself and your family for a divorce. The attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan understand the concerns that you probably have as you begin to consider a divorce and want you to know that we share those concerns. With that said, our attorneys wanted to share with you some advice that we think you can utilize immediately to begin helping your pocketbook and to provide you with peace of mind.
1) Make a budget and stick to it
It isn’t uncommon in a marriage to have one spouse be the bread-winner and the other spouse to be the budgeter and home economist. In a perfect world both you and your spouse would know what income is available to your family and then also how it is being spent but that is not always the case. In the event that you fell into a situation like this you will need to become the budgeter that your spouse used to be.
To begin at the beginning of each month you need to have a meeting with yourself to determine how much money you expect to earn that month and to determine exactly how much your bills are going to run. Understanding these components and then assigning a “mission” to each dollar can be crucial to keeping yourself honest in terms of only spending money on what you need to, as opposed to what will temporarily feel good. Whether you do this with a yellow legal pad and a pen, a spreadsheet on a computer or on an app for your cellular phone the important thing is putting your numbers down in writing and then holding yourself accountable.
If you are not a “natural” budgeter, then I can say welcome to the club. Many of us utilize credit cards and other financial means to avoid having to stick to a tight budget that dictates our ability to spend whatever we please. To those folks I would say: remember that this divorce is not a life sentence. Your life will be temporarily made more difficult without question, but if you budget your money and act intentionally instead of letting your emotions dictate your actions you will be in good shape.
2) Keep your attorney’s fees as low as possible
Most people need to hire an attorney to represent them in a divorce. Like many things in life, hiring an attorney is a short term investment that is intended to improve your life in the long term. When we discuss those items that we mentioned at the beginning of this blog post- your family, your children and your finances- it is a huge risk to not hire an attorney. What can you do though to get the best representation at a cost that will not impede your ability to plan and save for a life after your divorce is finalized?
Most family law attorneys are paid hourly. This means that for every hour of work they perform on your case they will charge you a fee. The fee depends on the hourly rate of the employee at their law office who is working on your case. Paralegals, legal assistants, attorneys, etc. will all typically have an hourly fee for which they perform case related activities.
It would make sense then to do whatever you can to minimize the hourly costs of having an attorney on retainer for you. This means that if you can do some work for your attorney then you will be saved some money. I’m not talking about drafting paperwork or preparing for hearings. I mean collecting paperwork to provide to your lawyer detailing your household income, old tax documents or any other financial or family related documents that becomes relevant in your divorce. If you can think ahead and ask your attorney what you can help them with in order to minimize costs he or she will be more than happy to help you save some money and get you actively involved in your divorce case.
3) Know your credit score and do what you can to protect it
Even if you are the sort of person who is adverse to debt in any form, your credit score is important nonetheless. Many jobs require you to allow them to run a background search on you with often times includes your credit score. Likewise, if you want to take out a mortgage then your credit score can be the difference between your being approved for a loan and being denied.
What can you do to protect your credit score in the context of your divorce? First and foremost you can review your credit report and make sure no accounts were opened up in your name that you were unaware of. If there are none, I would take your spouse’s privileges as an authorized user away on any accounts that have only your name on them. Another common aspect of your divorce will be to either have you or your spouse refinance the mortgage to your home if either one of you is awarded the home as your separate property after the divorce.
Questions on how much a divorce costs in Southeast Texas? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan
The attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan appreciate the opportunity to share these pieces of advice with you all. Should you have any additional questions about budgeting a cost friendly divorce please do not hesitate to contact our office. We offer free of charge consultations with a licensed family law attorney six days a week.
If you want to know more about what you can do, CLICK the button below to get your FREE E-book: “16 Steps to Help You Plan & Prepare for Your Texas Divorce”
Other Articles you may be interested in:
- Tips for hiring a divorce attorney in Texas
- Tips for hiring a divorce attorney in Texas, Part Two
- Tips for hiring a divorce attorney in Texas, Part Three
- The Dirty Trick of Filing for Divorce in Another City
- The Dirty Trick of Moving Out of State with the Kids
- Should I move out of the marital home during a divorce?
- Do I have to move out of the marital home during a divorce in Spring, Texas?
- Children's Passports and International Travel after Texas Divorce
- Can a Parent remove My Child from the state of Texas or from the County or Country where I am living?
- Geographic Restrictions in Child Visitation Orders in Texas
Law Office of Bryan Fagan | Spring Divorce Lawyer
The Law Office of Bryan Fagan routinely handles matters that affect children and families. If you have questions regarding divorce, it's important to speak with a Spring, TX Divorce Lawyer right away to protect your rights.
A divorce lawyer in Spring TX is skilled at listening to your goals during this trying process and developing a strategy to meet those goals. Contact Law Office of Bryan Fagan by calling (281) 810-9760 or submit your contact information in our online form. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan handles Divorce cases in Spring, Texas, Cypress, Spring, Klein, Humble, Kingwood, Tomball, The Woodlands, Houston, the FM 1960 area, or surrounding areas, including Harris County, Montgomery County, Liberty County, Chambers County, Galveston County, Brazoria County, Fort Bend County and Waller County.