The moment you file for divorce is one you’ll remember for the rest of your life. In Texas, there are many specific rules that govern the dissolution of marriage, so you’ll want to find an attorney who focuses on divorce law when seeking legal counsel. Your attorney should be eager to protect your interests, reduce the impact the divorce will have on your day-to-day life, and keep the proceedings civil. When searching for the right divorce lawyer in Houston to handle your case, consider the following tips.
What are the Most Important Qualities in a Lawyer?
When you think about working with a Houston divorce lawyer, what qualities are the most important to you? If you’re not sure, perhaps you could consider these traits:
- The experience that’s relevant to your case. Needless to say, Houston is a populous city where many married couples seek a divorce, so you likely have more options for a divorce lawyer than you know what to do with.
When beginning your search, you will want to choose an attorney who has years of experience in the courtroom and will aggressively help spouses seeking a divorce while tackling issues that are specific to your case. If child custody is important to you, make sure the lawyer you hire has the knowledge and ability necessary to be successful in getting the court to grant custody to their clients. If you hope to keep the cost of temporary spousal support down, or a favorable community property division, work with an attorney who will fight aggressively, in and out of the courtroom in furtherance of your goals.
- A high rate of success. While there is no “winner” or “loser” in a divorce, you can judge a person’s satisfaction with the outcome by reading attorney reviews and testimonials. Former clients who were happy with the results can provide important insight into what it’s like to work with that attorney.
- A wide range of resources. Divorce is rarely finalized without considerable conflict between the two parties involved. Depending on your case, you may need a lawyer who has access to various experts, who can hire them to provide testimony when needed. You also need a lawyer who operates in the courtroom and can effectively advocate on your behalf.
- A personality that is compatible with yours. You’ll be working with this attorney closely for a long period, and your relationship may continue after the divorce is finalized when the time comes to update certain agreements.
Other Tips for Finding Just the Right Divorce Attorney in Houston
Start Your Search for the Right Lawyer Online
You can start looking for a local Houston divorce lawyer on your favorite search engine. Once you’ve narrowed down the top results, type each one into the Texas Bar Association’s Lawyer lookup service. Here, you can see their education, certifications, and can even find lawyers based on the languages they speak. You may also want to review the lawyers’ attorney profile pages on their websites before scheduling a consultation.
Ask Close Friends and Family Members for References
Divorce in Texas is relatively common. You likely know someone who has gone through it, and they might be willing to give you the name of their attorney. If the attorney doesn’t seem like a good match, it’s likely the attorney will be able to recommend a colleague.
There’s no shortage of divorce lawyers in Houston, which could make it more challenging to do your research. A close family member or friend whom you trust can give you an honest opinion on what it was like to work with the lawyer they chose.
You could also consider asking a lawyer you’ve worked within the past for a recommendation. Lawyers know plenty of other lawyers, even if they don’t practice the same area of law. You might consider asking for references before conducting a cold search online.
Talk to the Top 3 Lawyers on Your Shortlist
Once you have three top choices for representation in your divorce, schedule consultations with all of them. Speaking with an attorney in person or over the phone will give you a better idea of whether this lawyer is right for you. The attorney should be able to inform you whether their caseload and experience will allow them to serve you to their best ability.
Choose the Lawyer with the Most to Offer
You shouldn’t settle on an attorney because they promise you a low, reduced price. Consider what you have to lose if the court favors your spouse. If you have a contested divorce, you may have more to lose than someone in a situation where both parties are ready to move on with their lives. In Texas, a spouse may still place blame on the other spouse for the failure of the marriage. If the court is sympathetic to your spouse, you may lose valuable property, child custody, future earnings from your properties, and you may be required to provide spousal support.
The best way to feel comfortable in your decision to hire a qualified divorce lawyer is to invest in the best lawyer you can afford.
At Stepp & Sullivan, P.C, our team of Houston family law lawyers has more than 70 years of experience in trial litigation. We are prepared to educate you on the complex Texas divorce process and answer your questions so you can have peace of mind during what is often an emotionally draining period in a person’s life. Call (713) 336-7200 or complete our contact form for a consultation.