Tough Times in Texas: How to Find a Texas Divorce Lawyer
When a marriage ends, it can feel like your life is crashing down around you. Having to figure out the divorce process alone makes the walls feel like they’re closing in that much closer.
Understanding the divorce process and filing everything in the right order and at the right times is paramount to starting the next chapter of your life. The best way to do that is by finding a nearby Texas Divorce Lawyer who can guide you and your family through your divorce case.
But you shouldn’t hire the first one you find. Keep reading to learn how to start the divorce process and how to find the right family lawyer for you, below.
Explore Other Options
There’s no going back from a divorce. Before you hire a lawyer, make sure you’ve exhausted your other options.
If you’re sure, move on to the next step.
Decide What Type of Divorce You Want
There are two main types of divorces: fault and non-fault. A fault divorce was the only one you could get for a long time, thanks to the involvement of the church.
But you can get no-fault divorces in every state, including Texas. Never heard of those terms before? Here’s the difference.
What is a Fault Divorce in Texas?
A fault divorce is when you and your partner separate because someone did something wrong. They violated their vows in some way, be through lying, cheating, hurting someone emotionally or physically, or otherwise acting out in a way that hurt the family.
Some fault divorces are based on one event, like someone cheating, while others are the result of years of mistreatment.
Some religions only allow fault divorces, even in this day and age, but legally both types ore valid.
If you’re getting a no-fault divorce, that means that one person didn’t necessarily do anything wrong. These cases make up the majority of divorces these days, where things simply don’t work out.
No-fault divorces are often a more peaceful process than fault divorces, but there are still a lot of tumultuous emotions involved.
Does the Type Matter?
To your lawyer, the type of divorce doesn’t matter. We will represent you in either case.
However, knowing that you’re seeking a divorce in response to mistreatment may change the strategy we take when going through the divorce process.
Do Your Research: Talk to Divorced Couples
The best endorsement a lawyer can get is through a personal referral. If you know people who are divorced, whether it was recent or not, talk to them about the representation they used.
If you don’t know anyone in the area, plenty of websites have testimonials listed, and you can even ask a lawyer for personal references before you commit to them handling your case.
Make a Short List
After doing your research online and talking to your friends, you should have a list of names. Which names keep coming up, over and over?
Those are the ones you want to add to your shortlist. Once they’re on your shortlist, go to their website, and do additional research.
Set Up a Consultation
Read about each lawyer, look at testimonials and reviews for their firm, then set up a consultation appointment.
This consultation shouldn’t cost you anything – it’s a way for you to decide who is best to work your case.
If you have your first consultation and know that’s the lawyer you want to work with, call the other firms and cancel your consultations with them, if they’re already scheduled.
It’s the polite thing to do for their schedule’s sake.
What To Look for During a Consultation with a Divorce Attorney
When you’re speaking to a lawyer about your divorce case, there are a few things you want to look for.
How is the professionalism of the attorney? Are they listening to you and writing things down? Are they presentable? Remember that whatever you tell them is confidential, so there’s no reason to hold back.
In fact, if you keep details from your lawyer, it can only hurt you in the long run.
Ask about their experience. You want your divorce lawyer to be someone who handles cases like yours regularly. If they’re not the right fit for you, the right thing for them to do is to recommend you to someone else in their office, or outside of it.
Don’t agree to work with an attorney that only has no-fault experience if you’re going for everything after your partner cheated. Their experience needs to line up with your needs.
Part of figuring out their experience is asking them for their professional references. These are usually delivered in the form of phone numbers, which means you’ll have to call a stranger to ask them about their experience.
Remember that you’re asking about your lawyer’s performance and not the case-specific details of their case.
Last but not least, talk to your lawyer about their prices and their availability. Can they take your case on, or is their caseload too full?
You want to find an attorney who’ll be there for you and to treat your case like it’s their only one (even if it’s not).
If they require a retainer, they’ll let you know upfront. From there, you’ll be billed at an hourly rate, and you’re welcome to ask what that is.
Choosing a Texas Divorce Lawyer
Once you’ve found the Texas divorce lawyer you want to work with, you’ll need to sign papers to legally agree to work together. Once you do that, your next step is to shake hands and get started on the path to your new life.