Divorce is hard and emotional on all parties involved, which is why a quality divorce attorney is so important. If you are going through a divorce in Smith or surrounding counties I strongly recommend retaining a knowledgable and experienced local divorce attorney in Tyler to assist you with this process. A good family law attorney will be able to answer your questions and concerns. They should also thoroughly explain the divorce process and what to expect.
The Importance of Using a Quality Divorce Attorney in Tyler Texas
There are many things in life you can do on your own, divorce should not be one of them. Even if you feel that your divorce will be “easy,” there is an abundance of information that needs to be included in your divorce decree to ensure that your intentions are stated correctly. In a contested divorce and a divorce involving children, a great divorce attorney can be a lifesaver. The outcome of your divorce will have lasting effects on not only you but your children as well. Seeking the advice of an attorney sooner rather than later is better.
The sooner you speak with a family law attorney regarding your divorce the better. As with any civil litigation, there are strict deadlines that must be followed. For example, if someone retains a divorce lawyer a few weeks before a final hearing is set, certain discovery deadlines have already passed. Any motions for temporary orders are typically heard at the start of your case. Even though these orders are meant to be only temporary while the divorce is pending they may ultimately affect the final outcome of your case. If you have a divorce pending in Smith County, a local divorce attorney in Tyler can explain to you what the local courts standing temporary orders consist of.
What You Should Expect From A Good Divorce Attorney
Your lawyer should be able to confidently answer your questions you may have regarding your situation.
They will address any concerns you have in regards to property division,
You should not have a difficult time being able to communicate with your divorce lawyer after they have been retained. I make it a point to return all client messages as soon as possible.
Your family law attorney should update you in a reasonable amount of time if anything changes in your case.
As a client, you should feel comfortable with not only the attorney but the staff as well. You should always feel welcome to call, email, or schedule an in-person meeting.
You should feel prepared for any court hearings, depositions, and mediation.
The Initial Consult and What to Bring
The initial consult is an opportunity for the attorney and prospective client to meet each other. If you have already been served with a lawsuit you should bring your documentation with you. Also, bring any other relevant documents with you. I recommend making a list of questions you may have as this is the best time to ask them. Your divorce attorney will review the divorce process with you and provide estimated timelines and deadlines with you. I will typically provide my clients with a divorce package upon retaining me which will be useful throughout the process. After meeting with the divorce lawyer you should feel confident with their ability to litigate your case. If you do not have confidence in that particular lawyer I suggest speaking with another one.
The Divorce Process
After the consultation, paying the retainer, and signing a contract the lawyer will prepare the initial documents and file them with the appropriate district clerk. The initial documents will include the petition, request for service citation, and any motions for temporary orders. Once the district clerk accepts the filings, the case will be assigned to a family law court. In Smith County, there are a total of 3 courts that hear divorce cases.
The district clerk will then issue a citation for service and send it to my office along with the documents that I filed. Next, a process server will serve your spouse the documents, at which time he or she will be given a deadline to respond.
If any motions for temporary orders are filed then a hearing on temporary orders will be set. There will then be a hearing on temporary orders at the beginning of your case. The judge will make a ruling regarding the property, child custody, temporary spousal support, and other requested temporary injunctions to be followed while the divorce is pending.
After your spouse has been served the discovery phase begins. This is an opportunity for both sides to request certain information and documents from the other party. This is also a time that if any depositions are taken will be completed.
Settling Your Divorce Matter
A skilled family attorney will attempt to resolve your divorce before trial if feasible. There are several ways of reaching a settlement in a divorce case without actually going to trial. The first way is when the attorneys for each party send settlement proposals for the final decree of divorce. A second option is with the use of a mediator. A mediator is a licensed attorney who has no involvement with the divorce and is neutral to both sides. You should not feel pressured into reaching a settlement if you feel that it’s not in you or your children’s best interest. Your divorce lawyer should show the willingness to take your case to trial if needed.
A good Tyler Divorce Attorney will then prepare a settlement proposal based on your request. If negotiating a settlement with the other side fails then mediation will be scheduled. Mediation is a chance for the parties to express their settlement requests to an unbiased and neutral family law attorney, who is the mediator. The mediator will go back and forth between your attorney and your spouse’s attorney in an attempt to assist the parties in reaching a settlement agreement which will be memorialized into a mediated settlement agreement.
Retaining a Divorce Attorney in Tyler
When retaining a Tyler divorce attorney make certain that your attorney has trial experience. Even though many divorce cases settle prior to a trial, it is important that your divorce attorney is willing and capable of taking your case to trial. If your divorce does not settle in mediation the last and final step would be a trial. A divorce trial can usually be completed in one day. Both attorneys will present their case and question witnesses.
If your case goes to trial your lawyer should meet with you prior to trial and will prepare you for the type of questions that will be asked. At the end of the final hearing, the judge will make rulings and a divorce decree will be completed to that effect.
Divorce Questions & Answers
- The attorney’s fee structure and hourly rate
- Alimony and Spousal support issues
- Child custody and visitation questions
- The General Divorce Process
- Property & Debt Division
Ready To Schedule A Divorce Consultation?
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I also handle divorce matters in Longview and Henderson, TX