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Divorce is generally considered to be one of the more costly lawsuits you can participate in, both financially and emotionally. Important decisions must be made throughout the course of your case concerning custody, child support, spousal support, medical support, visitation and property division. These often emotional decisions are not always easily resolved and the financial burden can begin to add up. By following a few simple rules you can help your attorney become better prepared for your case and also perhaps alleviate some of your financial burden.
(1) Have clear goals;
(2) Do not micromanage your case or your lawyer;
(3) Stay focused on the facts, not the feelings;
(4) Have realistic expectations .
Have clear goals:
Filing for divorce in Texas is one of the most important decisions you may make in your life. This decision will affect you emotionally, mentally, legally and financially. Before you file for divorce (or respond to a divorce that has been filed against you) you should consult with an attorney for a free case evaluation. The attorney can help you plan your legal journey as well as identify your expectations and narrow your goals. Your attorney will be better able to execute your case without unnecessary litigation and expense once you have come up with a ‘game plan’.
Do not micromanage your case or your lawyer:
When you hire a lawyer it is imperative that you trust that person to know and understand the law and to fully represent your interest, whether the case is simple or complex. It is important for the client to be involved in the divorce process; however, clients must be wary of micromanaging their case. This creates more work for the attorney and inevitably more stress for the client. Remember that having clear goals is helpful in maintaining a smooth relationship between the attorney and client and helps keep costs down.
Stay focused on the facts, not your feelings:
Divorces can be highly emotional, especially when children are involved. You hire a lawyer to remain objective and think clearly through this difficult time in your life. Your lawyer is taking care of immediate legal needs and incorporating plans for the future of you and your children into the process. An increase in cost can be expected when your lawyer has to stop working on your case and allocate time for you to vent emotionally. Try and stick to the facts of your case. It is important to keep your lawyer informed as is necessary but be careful not to treat your lawyer as a therapist. Although your lawyer should certainly identify with you and understand your feelings, lawyers are trained to deal with facts; not emotions.
Have realistic expectations:
Sometimes a spouse is so hurt and angry that they seek to “punish” the other party. People fight vigorously to keep their child away from their spouse to hurt him or her. This is typically not in the child’s best interest and can be emotionally damaging to your child. However, you should be prepared to defend yourself against the behavior that brought you to divorce (and recognize your own shortcomings). But be very careful not to become vindictive and behave in a manner that damages your case. Avoid the following behaviors at the onset of your divorce:
1) Draining your bank accounts (IRA, 401k), hiding assets or disposing of property;
2) Hiding your child(ren) from your spouse;
3) Becoming physically violent or verbally abusive toward your spouse;
4) Involving yourself in a new relationship before finalizing your divorce.
Be sure to let your attorney know about situations where violence, kidnapping, drug abuse or generally “bad” behavior has occurred or is likely to occur. Dangerous situations can be avoided by proper planning and understanding of your unique situation.
Contact a qualified Houston Divorce Lawyer here at The Rudisel Law Firm, P.C. for a free consultation to discuss ways to save money when litigating a Texas family law case.
Visit “Tips for Court” for information on making your appearance in a family law court for the first time.