Your Best Interests in Mind
Whether you are the one to initiate a divorce proceeding or the spouse on the receiving end of a divorce petition, it is important to find an attorney who will keep your best interests at the forefront of the matter, who will communicate with you regularly, regarding what to expect and how to prepare, and one who has experience with the legal matters involved in your case as well as with the court and jurisdiction.
Guidance Throughout the Process
When the divorce involves spouses who have children, you and your attorney must consider the special circumstance surrounding child custody, including the timing and amount of child support payments, visitation agreements, your responsibilities, and what to do if the other party neglects one of their responsibilities. Your attorney should strive to ensure that the decisions related to a child are based upon what is in the best interest of that child. The attorney should guide you through any required assessments such as a home study, depositions or mediation.
Communicate Completely and Honestly
Texas is a Community Property state, meaning there are specific guidelines regarding property that belonged to the individual spouses prior to marriage and during the marriage, as well as the property purchased and owned by both spouses jointly during the marriage. An attorney will follow these guidelines and also consider situations where divorce may require one spouse to seek work for the first time, or where one spouse was the primary earner of income and provider of savings and retirement investments for the couple during the marriage. If your divorce will involve the dissolution of a business or separation of business interests (where the married couple were in business together), then your attorney should have experience not only in the area of divorce and family law, but also an understanding of accounting sufficient to advise you on the value of the business.
Get the Experience You Deserve
Often, divorce involves spouses who already live in different cities or states, or who plan to live in different geographic locations after divorce. This could affect the primary jurisdiction of the court where the divorce is handled, and could affect the terms and agreements for visitation when children are involved. Again, it will benefit you greatly to have an attorney who has experience sorting through jurisdictional matters.
In summary, your divorce attorney should:
- Advocate for your best interests;
- Communicate honestly and completely;
- Provide guidance on all obligations for court filings, for evidence, for meeting any requests of the court or other entities such as Child Protective Services, etc.;
- Have experience appropriate to the requirements of your particular divorce
If you have been served with a petition for divorce, discuss your questions and options with an experienced attorney — a trusted adviser dedicated to help you navigate the divorce process. Family Law and Divorce Attorney Rachel Li is experienced as a mediator and an advocate at trial. Contact us for a consultation today.