Is it Worth Getting a Divorce Lawyer?
Is it worth getting a divorce lawyer? The short answer? Absolutely. Although you can file for an uncontested divorce on your own if you and your spouse amicably agree on the terms of your divorce, it’s recommended that you at the very least have an attorney review your agreement and provide legal advice.
That said, the best way to make sure that your rights are protected and that decisions are being made with your best interests in mind, is to hire a divorce attorney — even if you think you and your spouse can figure it out on your own.
Here are some considerations to keep in mind when trying to decide whether to hire a divorce lawyer for your high-net-worth divorce.
Do you need a lawyer for a divorce in Texas?
You do not legally need a lawyer to file for a divorce in Texas. However, getting divorced can be a stressful and emotionally draining process — especially if you and your spouse are not able to come to an agreement regarding issues such as child support, property division, or alimony.
By hiring a lawyer for your divorce case, you are more likely to avoid making mistakes or causing delays throughout the process, all while gaining access to expert legal advice and taking some of the burdens off of your own shoulders.
To know whether or not you need a lawyer for your divorce in Texas, ask yourself the following questions.
Has your spouse hired a divorce attorney?
Each state has different laws regarding divorce, laws which get even more complicated if you are entering into a high-asset divorce. If you know that your spouse has already hired an attorney, it is wise for you to as well. Making small mistakes throughout the divorce process can have lasting effects on your personal and financial well-being. To avoid making simple mistakes, it’s in your best interest to hire a specialized divorce lawyer who will advocate on your behalf and work to ensure that you understand your rights.
Will there be issues involving minor children?
Having minor children in the mix of a divorce can complicate the process of making decisions on issues regarding child support and child custody. Even if you do agree in the moment, feelings may change down the road when one parent moves, gets remarried, disagrees with the decisions made by the other parent, or has a change in their financial situation. Without an agreed entry order, you could end up needing to open yet another legal case if/when a disagreement does happen.
Simply having an agreed entry order or hiring a divorce attorney to help settle the matter won’t prevent any of the above conflicts from happening, but it can work to make sure your rights as a parent are legally protected.
Are you in agreement with your spouse regarding alimony?
Texas has specific laws regarding who does and does not qualify for alimony. For some couples, such as those married for less than 10 years, long-term alimony will not be a necessary discussion as neither individual can qualify for it. Though they may be able to get temporary alimony.
If you have been married for more than 10 years and the alimony amount needs to be determined, having a lawyer who specializes in providing legal advice for divorces can help you either get or pay a fair amount of alimony. This is particularly true in a high net worth divorce where one spouse is fully dependent on the other.
Do you and your spouse agree on how to divide your property and debts?
In the state of Texas, marital property is typically split 50/50, although this doesn’t necessarily mean all assets and property will be split exactly down the middle. Even if you have a prenuptial agreement, having to decide who takes what can get messy. Your best bet would be to find a high-net-worth divorce lawyer who also has experience as Texas property division lawyers so that they can help you navigate the process and protect your interests.
Couples rarely agree on all of these fronts. And even if you believe that you are in agreement, it is worth getting a lawyer, and making sure that your future is protected as well as theirs.
When to hire a divorce attorney
Because you do not legally need to hire a divorce attorney in Texas, it is your choice as to whether or not you do so. However, there are several individuals that absolutely should retain counsel to help with their divorce case particularly if their case includes issues relating to:
- History of domestic violence, substance abuse, or sexual abuse
- Power imbalances
- If the other spouse has hired their own lawyer
Keep reading: How long does a divorce take in Texas?
Looking for the top high-net-worth divorce lawyer in Houston? Call Grimes & Fertitta.
So, what’s the verdict? Is it worth getting a divorce lawyer?
When dealing with a divorce, hiring a lawyer can help you avoid making common divorce mistakes such as not looking into whether your spouse is hiding assets, hiding your own assets, or making quick, emotional decisions. Not to mention the mistakes you’ll avoid making between you and your spouse.
If you’re facing a high-net-worth divorce, you don’t need to walk through it alone. The Houston divorce lawyers from Grimes & Fertitta have experience providing compassion and experience necessary to meet the unique needs of each of our clients.
To schedule a consultation, call us at 713-224-7644 or contact us online.
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