1.  Complex or large financial assets – A divorce involving complex, unusual, or large amounts of financial assets typically requires financial experts to value the financial assets and a fair amount of negotiation to reach a settlement over how to divide the assets; may also require tax professionals.

2.  Intense hostility or disagreement over child custody issues – Possible costs associated with an intense battle over the children include: attorney ad litum, guardian ad litum, or amicus attorney appointed on behalf of the children; home studies, therapists, counselors, or other professional services related to well-being of the children; additional attorney’s fees on both sides.

3.  An overly aggressive lawyer – Spending extra money on an “aggressive”, “bulldog” of an attorney to punish your spouse in court is admittedly a tactic that may sometimes work.  However, more frequently it just results in additional discord between the parties that only drives them further apart from reaching a reasonable agreement to end the marriage.

4.  One or both parties insists on being difficult and doing everything the hard way – Unfortunately, a judge cannot require a party to be polite, reasonable, or fair; nor can the judge force a settlement between the parties.  Sometimes people just want to turn the divorce into a fight, or simply refuse to use compromise, but responding with hostility will most likely only aggravate the situation.

5.  Misunderstanding the role of the family court – The court is not there to punish one party or the other, or to declare one party a winner and one a loser, nor is it a place for you to air out your grievances.  The role of the family court is to make difficult decisions about child custody and property division.

6.  Picking fights that are more expensive than the value of the property – While some personal property certainly carries a value that exceeds its market value, such as family heirlooms and photos, sometimes people will fight over some old junk in a box in the garage for the simple fact that it’s an opportunity to bring up an old argument.

7.  Addressing a child with special needs – There may be a need for additional child support to cover medical expenses, educational programs etc. It usually takes a good deal of time to craft a workable plan to make sure the child is cared for, and overcome any resistance by the parent who will have to pay a larger amount of child support.

8.  Refusal to cooperate with mandatory information exchanges – A party’s refusal to comply with discovery requests can delay discovery and may require additional attorney’s fees.   You may also have to hire an investigator or expert if the other party tries to hide something. Additionally, the judge may also consider such conduct when dividing property and allocating parental rights in the divorce.

9.  Believing that drawing out the divorce will lead to fixing the marriage –  In most cases, dragging out the divorce typically means refusing any settlements, which in turn forces the other side to pursue litigation as a way to conclude the divorce, thus costing both sides more money, and more hostility and frustration.

10.  Believing that having your day in court is most important – Many people believe that they should have their day in court to tell their side of the story with hopes that the judge will declare them a better spouse and give them a landslide

Based in Houston, Hiller Law has represented everyday people, athletes, executives, business owners, professionals and their spouses in divorces and family law matters since 1989.