Frequently Asked Questions
How much will a divorce cost?
While there’s no way to put a price tag or even an estimate on a divorce, studies show the average divorce costs between $15,000 and $20,000. As you can imagine, there are quite a few things that can adjust that price up or down.
Opting for a process like collaborative divorce can drive the price downward compared to the traditional courtroom divorce, as communication is kept constructive, formal divorce processes are kept streamlined and emotions are regulated.
You can save money by working on healthy communication, keeping your expectations in check and providing as much detail as possible about your needs and desired outcomes. Consider hiring reputable legal and financial professionals to support you throughout your divorce, as these pros can keep the process efficient and provide you with the best post-divorce strategies.
Will we each need our own attorney?
Yes, no matter the divorce process you choose, you will want to retain the services and support of your own attorney.
You may consider a do-it-yourself divorce, in which case the legal insight of an attorney is still recommended — but not required. While a DIY divorce can save money, I’ve heard countless stories of clients who made mistakes, missed details and are generally dissatisfied with the process — and all say they’d go another route if they could do it all over again.
How long will my divorce take?
No one wants to work through a drawn out divorce. But because every divorce is different, there’s no definitive answer or estimate on how long yours might take.
The answer really lies in the types of things you plan to feud over with your spouse. I’ve seen couples claw and scratch over the littlest things and trinkets, which were only mementos that drug the process out and drained the bank accounts. If you come in with a bigger picture perspective and open communication, the process will move slowly and expediently.
In collaborative divorce cases, we tend to see couples resolve matters within six months. Anything over a year or so gets into the “let’s move this along” territory, and when you start to ask “how much is this thing costing me?”. I think six months is a reasonable amount of time to dot your “I”s and cross your “T”s, while working through all of your questions and concerns with your hired divorce professionals.
Can you find/list all of the accounts my spouse has?
Concern over financials tends to be the biggest issue couples have as they enter the divorce process. Mistrust in the marriage boils over into the divorce — and you can imagine how quickly the tension ratchets upward as a result.
There are two ways you can obtain information about your spouse’s financial accounts: You can enter into the “discovery” process, which is part of the litigated, traditional courtroom divorce, or you can work cooperatively and voluntarily through the collaborative divorce process. Each has its pros and cons.
Discovery is thorough and official. If there are accounts out there, attorneys and legal pros will sniff them out. With that comes a lot of time, a lot of money and a lot of opportunities to create tension. With the collaborative divorce approach, you and your spouse agree to submit information about your finances and accounts. This can be very effective, and for most couples, poses no issue. If transparency and trust are already a hindrance as you begin the divorce process, you may consider whether or not collaborative divorce is truly the best fit for you.
Can you recommend any attorneys?
Oh boy, can I ever. One of my most notable assets is my trusty rolodex, which is burgeoning with remarkable and reputable attorneys who can support you through whichever divorce course you choose.
I’ve worked with quite a few attorneys across Texas, but I’ve also partnered and consulted with attorneys and legal pros from across the country. If I don’t know someone personally, I know someone who does — and I’d be happy to make a connection.
To that point, when searching for a divorce CPA, it’s important to check their network. I recommend folks I trust, and I’ve developed my network over many years and many partnerships. I want you to get the support you need, so I’m always happy to extend my network of quality and qualified professionals to you.
Will I have enough money to retire?
Uncoupling couples in divorce is tricky business. Nothing makes things more complicated than finances — particularly assets and accounts tied to retirement.
One advantage of working with a divorce CPA is your ability to have advanced analyses and projections to adequately prepare for your retirement needs. We can look at your goals, analyze what options are on the table and make provisions to get you where you’d like to be.
If retirement concerns are at the top of your list, collaborative divorce may be a great fit for you and your spouse. This approach gives you both flexibility and customization which is otherwise unavailable through traditional divorce processes.
Will I have enough money to pay bills and cover my living expenses after divorce?
The thought of splitting a single household budget into two can feel both daunting and frightening to most. Having the funds an and the flexibility to make your lifestyle fit your new finances may feel overwhelming — but take a deep breath and we’ll work together to sort things out.
I think financial preparedness is one way the traditional divorce process fails spouses. For many, financial awareness and literacy are foreign concepts. You may have had no hand in the dollars and cents of your marriage, so you’re without any context. Maybe you’ve been out of the job market and haven’t been a contributor to the income — and that’s okay too.
Whether it’s through a collaborative divorce, or in tandem with any other divorce approach you may be pursuing, I can meet with you to provide divorce transition support. This often involves us looking at your immediate and long-term financial needs, outlining what money you anticipate coming in, getting a handle on where it might be going out, and mapping out a plan for you to strengthen your financial readiness. I can also connect you with other financial advisors to continue support into your post-divorce lifestyle.