It’s essential to hire a qualified lawyer to represent your best interests when in a legal disagreement. Hiring an inexperienced or under-qualified lawyer can leave you struggling with the results of your case.
Choose a lawyer experienced with family law. You want someone who knows the rules, timing and correct procedures for filing paperwork, and has a good rapport with judges.
Here are the two most common types of family law cases and how a family lawyer will navigate you through the process.
- Divorce or Dissolution of Marriage
Divorces can be fairly straightforward if you and your ex get along fairly well and have a mostly shared vision of splitting up items. But if you have children, real estate, and shared debt, even an amicable divorce can get more complicated.
One consideration are Texas residency requirements for divorce. These “no residency” laws are fairly common state by state. Here in Texas, you must live in the state for at least six months to be able to file for divorce. You must also get divorced in the state where you live, not the state where you were married. If you don’t meet the residency laws, you can still file for a legal separation.
Make sure to carefully interview your attorney during the first consultation and pick someone who specializes in family law. Trust your instincts and make sure they are focused on you during the meeting and are trustworthy and competent, as you want your divorce to proceed as smoothly and quickly as it can.
- Child Custody
These cases are an emotional tug-of-war between parents. Most parents want full custody, making it more difficult to reach a common agreement. If one parent was abusive, these cases can go quickly, but generally, there are several visits to the courtroom needed. For these cases, a judge awards custody based on the “best interests” of the children. That means a judge will look to determine which parent provides the best mental and physical conditions for the child to live.
If you and your ex are seeking joint custody, you’ll probably spend some time to reach an agreement on days of the week and holidays you will spend with the children.
Another area of child custody are child support payments. The parent spending less time with the children will pay the other to provide more of the children’s needs. These can be contentious discussions if one parent is unwilling to pay or accept this agreement.
At Woods, May & Matlock, every lawyer specializes in family law in Dallas, TX. We’re on your side, ready to make a smooth, cost-effective resolution. Call us at 972-387-9955 for a free brief phone consultation.