Unlike many places you call, we are here, ready to talk to you about the cost of divorce. Call today (281) 503-4747. Ask for Megan or Justin. As part of our goal to provide the most convenient, and professional divorce possible, we have created this page about the prices of divorce services available to you in Harris County.
We Called Around and Got 6 Quotes from Divorce Lawyers in Houston
To help save you time, and give you an idea of price range at a glance in Houston, in the second week of November 2017, we called 6 places that were listed on Google Maps for divorce lawyer services in Harris County. The first place offered an uncontested divorce service only for clients with no assets whatsoever, no cars, no accounts, no houses, nada– this service was $399 + $268.00 filing fee. Most all divorces involve at least a small estate, so this quote is largely unhelpful. At a price this low, we are left wondering, what is left out? The second place offered a $1,500 flat fee if the estate did not involve “a lot of assets or property” and was a price only if the case was uncontested. It was unclear exactly what “a lot of assets” would mean at this Firm, so we were not clear on the price. The second place also offered a $2,500 contested retainer which would be billed at $300 per hour. The third quote we got from a law firm in Harris county for an uncontested divorce was for $2,500 billed at $250-$400 per hour. The retainer for the contested divorce service at this third Firm was for $5,500 to be billed at $250-$400 per hour. The fourth divorce price quote we got from Harris County was $7,500 down billed at $350-$450 per hour. The unused portion of the retainer was refundable according to the attorney at this fourth firm. The fifth price quote requested a $3,500-$10K retainer. $10K was the highest retainer we were given. The 6th law office in Houston indicated they would give a call back (still waiting on that returned call).
This leaves us knowing a wide range of prices may apply, but certainly the divorcing spouse is left with important questions. What do you get in exchange for the money?
With your spouse’s cooperation, your case will take 61 days at our Firm, which is the fastest divorce permitted by Texas Law. Many Firms do not offer this fast of a processing time, so make sure to ask before you hire!
What is the Cost of Divorce at Cook & Cook Law Firm in Harris County?
Our Firm offers a one of a kind tool to enable you to instantly see your accurate divorce price, tailored entirely to your divorce needs. The divorce is $1,500 to start, small to large estates. To know the total price, simply click our Cook & Cook divorce price calculator.
We invested in making this tool and providing it so that you could move forward with your case without having to wait, or jump through hoops. We attempt to make all steps of your divorce just as easy as it is to check our prices. When you go to the divorce price calculator, you will see that our base price (without add-on services) for an uncontested divorce is $950 down, and a total of $1,500 flat without kids, and a total of $2,000 flat with kids. Use the calculator to check if you need any add-on services such as deeds, qualified domestic relations orders, or powers of attorney.
This divorce service includes your governmental filing fee. The entire case takes 60 days with your cooperation. Always remember to ask a lawyer whether the fee quoted to you includes the filing fee, because that fee, at some firms, will be a hidden cost that will add $300 to the case. Make sure to use the calculator to see the exact price that applies to your needs, as some circumstances discount the price, and others increase it. We have represented 700 families in divorce in Texas, and our entire business is devoted to helping spouses part as friends, hence the URL “partasfriends.com”. Unlike many law firms that are happy to see you and your spouse fight through a long heavy divorce, our aim is aligned with yours, just to get divorced, and not to make it so ugly.
What Do You Get From Cook & Cook When You Hire Us
In our ongoing attempt to go above and beyond with the information we provide on our website, we have laid out our divorce process here, and this is the outline of service that you get from us. It is a super smart, technologically savvy divorce. Our lawyers are trained to know that responsiveness to you is the most important element of your experience.
Questions? Call Today: (281) 503-4747
To see what other divorce lawyers are charging in Harris County for divorce, we called around in November of 2017, and obtained 6 quotes. Here were the results...
- Quote 1: $3.5K-10K Retainer (highest quote) 100% 100%
- Quote 2: $667 flat (lowest price found) 7% 7%
- Quote 3: $1.5K flat for small estates 15% 15%
- Cook & Cook Prices : $1.5K-3K flat 20% 20%
- Quote 4: $2.5K Retainer 25% 25%
- Quote 5: $7.5K Retainer 75% 75%
- Quote 1: $5.5K Retainer 55% 55%
Unlike most law firms, our service is very much online because it is designed for busy people, parting ways as friends. You can file your divorce by clicking below...
But, Let’s Get Back to Talking About Divorce Prices in Harris County…
When you are needing a divorce, the first thing you are going to do is look for options. Can you afford a divorce? What type of divorce do you need? Who will take the best care of you? Who will not over-charge for their service to you? Most people in this position, needing a lawyer as quickly as can be, will simply Google for lawyers and call some numbers on Google maps.
Flat Fees vs. Retainer Fees For Divorce in Houston
One very important thing to understand about divorce fee prices is the difference between a fixed fee or flat fee and a retainer fee. If a divorce service is offered on a flat fee, that means that the price is just like a shirt. You see the price on the tag, and you know that that is the total you pay for the shirt (plus tax, but there is no tax on a divorce service). The price is what it is. This is a great type of price structure because it means that you know what the law firm is charging you, in total, to do the divorce. As mentioned, we do flat fee uncontested divorces! If I was getting divorced, and I had an uncontested divorce, I personally would want a flat fee so that I would know exactly what I was getting into price wise before hiring a firm. However, retainer fees for Harris county are by far the more common structure for hiring a lawyer. We at Cook & Cook do require a retainer fee if the divorce is contested (meaning you and your spouse do not agree on being divorced or on the terms of the divorce). We do so for the same reason that most firms only offer retainer based divorce services in Houston. We simply do not know what number of hours your case is going to take from start to end. So the retainer is a down payment, and once the retainer is out of money, another payment is needed.
Picture retainer fees like putting gasoline in your car. You fill the tank, and the car will run and travel for you for miles. When the car is out of gas, you have to fill up again. Retainer fees work that way at a law firm. Every 27 miles or so, the car burns a gallon of gas. Every hour of work, the retainer goes down by $300. Every hour your lawyer makes an hour’s worth of progress towards solving your family law issue. If and when the retainer is out of funds, the firm will need additional funds to pay the lawyers to continue to resolve the family law crisis at hand.
Questions? Call Today: (281) 503-4747
Contested vs. Uncontested Divorce Fees
When you start calling around for divorce prices in Houston Texas, you are mostly going to get only one type of divorce service quote, and that is a divorce quote for a “contested divorce”. This is simply because many lawyers do not believe that uncontested divorces are possible. Even if they are possible, many lawyers do not change their fee structure based on you saying that your case is uncontested or contested. So, when you call firms asking for prices, you are going to get contested retainer prices the vast majority of the time. In order to help you make sense of the prices you are getting, it is important for you to know the difference between a contested and an uncontested divorce. We have created a divorce guide to help you know the different types of divorce and be able to identify what you are facing.
Uncontested Divorces Are Cheaper Because…
To quickly explain it, an uncontested divorce (we call it a ‘part as friends’ divorce) is the type where both spouses agree to sign divorce papers, and agree on how to divide assets, debts and share in raising the children (if applicable). Both spouses are on the same page with getting this divorce done. This type of divorce is increasingly common, and is also the best way to get divorced, if you find yourself having to part ways from your spouse. This type of divorce is much less expensive because there is no urgent crisis occurring between you and your spouse, but rather, it is simply time to end the marriage. Lawyers can charge less for resolving this for you because the hours they will need to properly evaluate your estate and needs, and draft the papers, coordinate the hearing, etc, is a set number of hours. It is less stressful for you, but is also less stressful for the lawyer. As such, the fee, in our opinion, should reflect that. The fee that you pay for an uncontested divorce should not be the same as a contested divorce which is why at our firm, the two types of services are much different prices.
Contested Divorces Are Expensive Because…
When you and your spouse are not in agreement on the divorce terms, and you are filing a divorce, make no mistake about it. You are in a crisis. Your home, your money, your support and your kid’s lives are all going to be impacted, and your lawyer is in charge of taking care of you through this crisis. Your spouse may be abusing you, and may be harming your property. The Firm handling all of that needs to resolve this crisis on your behalf, and so it costs a lot more money.
About Divorce Prices In Harris County– They are Hard to Find
Well, what you will notice when you are calling around just for a simple bottom line, is that few lawyers in Houston answer their phone. It is difficult to get a lawyer on the telephone, but these days people are not even getting receptionists! Rather, many times when you are looking for a divorce price quote, when you call a lawyer, Google Voice is the receptionist, instead of a real person. You are forced to leave a message and wait for the call back. When you do talk to a lawyer, most often you are going to get a retainer quote for the divorce service, which brings us to a very important question–
Why Are Some Divorce ‘Services’ “$149-$299”?
There are an increasing number of divorce form companies popping up that advertise on Google ad words that the entire divorce is completed for $149. This advertising is deceptive and is nothing short of a scam that divorcing people are falling for, regularly. The companies advertising these divorce forms are non-attorneys, that have templates for divorce that they fill out. While the Court may accept the forms, there is no way of knowing if they are filled out properly. Using a form company, and paying $149 for a divorce is similar to paying another person to go take a multiple choice test, that didn’t take the class. Yes, the person will fill in the bubbles in the right format, and sure the teacher may accept the test, but whether the substance is right, whether the answers are right is an entirely different question. The form company templates look fine, but substantively no one that is trained to review legal forms, that can offer legal advice has looked at them. The Judge does not check your papers to make sure you are protected in Texas. If you don’t have a lawyer, no one checks! Divorce documents are permanent public record. So, whatever you do, don’t fall for these cheap divorce forms companies. Even if you get forms that are accepted, you still have to get a court date and go to a hearing to be divorced in Texas, which is something form companies sometimes blatantly lie to you about as a potential customer. Remember, you don’t have to pay $149 for divorce papers that you can get for free online here.
Questions? Call Today: (281) 503-4747
Warning About Hiring Based Solely on a Lawyer’s Lower Price in Houston
Lawyers are not like doctors. Once licensed, we can advertise our services in many different areas of law. So long as we can competently represent you, we can advertise to you, even if you are our first client. Wow. That should be a huge surprise. Here I am, a lawyer, telling you that there is very little protection between you and a lawyer who may have never handled a case like yours before. Maybe you feel that this is no big deal – after all, it is a lawyer who is representing you, and that person must be smart because he/she is a lawyer. Not true! What this means is that you need to hire your lawyer carefully. You need to consider the lawyer’s background. Check his/her state bar page to get more information. Check his/her website, too. Ask the lawyer direct questions about his/her experience with similar cases.
You should be aware that a person can become a licensed attorney, advertise divorce services, and not be very good at their job. Being a good divorce lawyer requires that the person can speak eloquently to a judge, understands the family code, can write well, can use technology efficiently, and is willing to take a moment to care about you and your life. If the lawyer is bad at any one of these things, you may not be happy with your divorce service. The best-case scenario, if this happens, is that you can hire a second lawyer to take the place of (“substitute in for”) your original attorney, but you are not likely to get the money back from the first one. In the worst case, you could end up losing thousands of dollars that you were entitled to, or even worse, losing rights to be with your children.
Remember there are three law schools in Harris County, so there are a lot of inexperienced lawyers local to you.
So to avoid getting a bad lawyer, when you interview your lawyer, assess these qualities:
When talking to the lawyer, do they speak professionally and persuasively, in a way that you find impressive? This is the same lawyer who will be speaking to a judge on your behalf, so how are their speaking skills? Can you hear them? Do you like them? Are they clear? Do they speak proper English? Are they overly emotional or too aggressive? Think of it as though you are interviewing your very own employee. What do you think of this person?
You should figure out not just the cost of the divorce laywer, but how knowledgeable is this particular firm or lawyer at your kind of law?
The most convenient way to check this is to ask the lawyer the most complicated questions you have, and see if they know the answers. Write down their answers, and then Google them to see if the lawyer knew what they were talking about. Beware that everything on Google is not accurate, but I do not have to tell you that. You can also crosscheck the information by interviewing more than one lawyer. Do not assume the lawyer is right. Many lawyers do not actually know the law as well as they should.
I personally think this is really important. If a lawyer can’t use technology very well, they will spend more (possibly unnecessary) time on your case, which will cost you more money. There are tools that lawyers should be able to use that can give you an advantage, such as the creation of visual aid evidence. Ask the lawyer about what software or technology they prefer to use in their practice. If they say that they don’t even use email, this is not the right lawyer.
While interviewing the lawyer, you should tell them something that is important to you about your case, and see if you feel that the lawyer actually heard you on that. Or were they too busy selling you on their services and yapping at you that they never actually heard you? This is your life; hire someone who will listen. You should not need to give the lawyer a lot of chances to hear you. If they don’t listen to you in the beginning, then move on. There are thousands of family lawyers, so you can be picky.
Questions? Call Today: (281) 503-4747
After you tell the lawyer about your case, ask them what the case plan would be if you hired them. The lawyer should lay out a plan that sounds good to you. If you aren’t on the same page in the beginning, you likely never will be.
The above few questions are basic conversational strategies that can help you avoid choosing the wrong lawyer.
Realize that a lawyer who has really good feedback on the web may still be the wrong lawyer for you. Family law is profoundly personal. Don’t depend on the recommendations of others. You are the best resource to find the right lawyer for you.
Many lawyers will tell you that there is no such thing as an uncontested divorce. Yet, our small Law Firm has settled hundreds of them. Many lawyers will tell you that collaborative law is a waste of money, yet it saves money when done properly. You don’t want a lawyer that doesn’t try to get your case to close amicably. Their work philosophy is going to be a direct reflection of you, and also, you’re stuck paying their bill when they are picking unnecessary fights. Their answer to this question about their opinion on uncontested and collaborative divorce will reveal some of their work philosophy so listen to their answer on this carefully.