Do I Need an Attorney for My Divorce?
Dec. 20, 2022
In our modern society, we’re exposed to countless messages about what makes a happy marriage or a fulfilling relationship, but we see very little that prepares you for going through a divorce. Therefore, when couples face divorce, they’re often left with a lot of unanswered questions and may not be sure how to proceed. Central among these questions is, “Are attorneys necessary in a divorce?”
While you may not think it necessary at first, it’s almost always a good idea to work with a family law attorney when going through a divorce, and in fact, it’s rare to go through a divorce without lawyers. If you’re looking for a divorce attorney in Texas, reach out to Robin Scott Law Firm, PLLC. With offices in Spring, Texas, Robin Scott is happy to represent clients throughout the area in Harris, Montgomery, and Fort Bend counties.
Divorce in Texas
In any divorce, there are several important issues you’ll have to address along with your spouse, such as asset and property division, child custody and support, and alimony. In addition to this, you’ll also need a solid understanding of the legal process of divorce in Texas and ensure you’re following all applicable laws including residency requirements, whether you’ll be filing for a fault-based or no-fault divorce, and any required waiting periods.
Contested Divorce vs. Uncontested Divorce
One of the most essential components to figure out when you’re considering divorce or have just started the divorce process is knowing whether it will be contested or uncontested.
An uncontested divorce is one where both parties agree that a divorce is necessary and you’re in agreement about most major issues such as asset division, child support and custody, and alimony.
A contested divorce is one in which one spouse disagrees with the other about one or more aspects that need to be decided. Importantly, even though an uncontested divorce may be easier in many respects, it is still best to have an attorney at least draw up the agreement to present to the court. You may also wish to meet with a lawyer for a short period of time on your own or work with a trained mediator during an uncontested divorce.
Many couples going through a contested divorce find they need the help of an attorney, even if it’s through mediation. An attorney can keep the conversation productive and comprehensive and can ensure that you account for all important aspects of the divorce agreement.
One good option that couples going through a divorce should consider is mediation. A licensed mediator doesn’t have to be an attorney, but they often are. A mediator’s job is to facilitate the conversation and keep the discussion on track. They are not responsible for making any decisions for you, but can educate you on the various issues at play and help you think through the possible outcomes of your choices.
Mediators will often assign “homework” for the divorcing couple, such as topics to discuss between themselves or gathering financial information so you can discuss asset division at your next meeting. Mediation isn’t for everyone and does require that the spouses be on fairly good speaking terms with one another. However, mediation can be a healthier, more productive, and often cheaper way to work through a contested divorce than each spouse hiring their own personal attorney. So, if you mostly get along with your spouse and you’re looking for a way to cut down on costs, this is probably the best method to pursue first.
A collaborative divorce is a similar process to mediation, but instead of both spouses deciding to work with just one mediator, each spouse hires their own attorney who’s trained in collaborative divorce law. The goal is still to come to an agreement outside of the courtroom, but this method may be preferable for those who would feel better with separate representation. This could be because there’s a mild level of distrust between spouses, but it could also be because you’re dealing with complicated financial questions and you want more oversight over the asset division.
However, if your collaborative approach does not work and you need to pursue a contested divorce in the courtroom, you’ll have to find a new lawyer to represent you, which means added time and added expenses to what has likely already been a long process.
Get Trusted Legal Assistance
If you’re in the process of separating from your spouse and are interested in learning about the different approaches to divorce and how hiring an attorney can help, contact Robin Scott Law Firm, PLLC in Spring, Texas. Engaging in a civilized divorce with your soon-to-be-ex spouse can be tricky, but it’s not impossible. However, most couples find this process to be much easier with the help of an experienced attorney. Call today to set up a consultation.