by Lisa Duffee
When “I do” becomes “I’m done”
Let me be clear, there is nothing easy about divorce. It will challenge your fortitude with curve balls and unannounced lane changes throughout the process. My job is to guide, represent, and advocate for you to make sure you reach the most favorable outcome possible. With more than three decades of extensive trial experience, I’ve seen a lot so it’s hard to surprise me. Whether our venue is a conference room or the court room, I’m there to protect your family, property, and financial interests.
Now is the time to be realistic- look into the different types of divorce to see which kind is best for your situation. While some people are well suited for a collaborative divorce, others might conclude that litigation is the only option. It is best to be prepared for your case to go either way, with an attorney who is committed to your best interests and skilled to represent you well in any arena.
Assess your financial fitness
One of the best things you can do is prepare to be as organized as possible with a thorough accounting of all community assets and debts. Start organizing your finances, going as far back into the relationship as you can go- Include statements, property tax documents, tax returns, loans, mortgages, any pre or post-nups, insurance documents. Inventory valuables and property. Go ahead and run a credit check on yourself. Get advice from a lawyer or your investment broker about how to protect and maintain your separate property.
And by the way,
Do not hesitate to change the password on all of your email accounts, separate property, your social media accounts to ensure your privacy is protected.
Keep it Classy
Begin with the end in mind. Think about what kind of relationship you want to have with your now spouse, years into the future. If you have kids, in addition to the planning for them, keep in mind that you will have to interact with the ex on a continued basis. Knowing that your paths will cross, do everything that you can to keep relations respectful.
Hit the pause button on Social media- assume that all eyes are on your accts, whether you realize it or not. Refrain from dating. In Texas, whether separated or not, you are still married until the day you are legally divorced. Don’t let that work against you.
If you need a therapist, get one. Don’t discuss your problems with everyone you know- keep your circle of trust small and carefully chosen.
Hire an Attorney
And then LISTEN to the advice of your attorney. Remember that you hired them for this specific skill set, experience, wisdom and counsel, so do what they say. Provide what you are asked for in an organized, timely manner. We are here to help you reach the ultimate goals for your divorce or family law matter.
About Lisa Duffee: Lisa Duffee, founding partner of Duffee + Eitzen, is regarded as one of Texas’ top family law attorneys. Duffee employs a compassionate spirit, business acumen, and innovative problem-solving skills to formulate strategies that assist clients in reaching their goals.
With over three decades of litigation experience, Duffee is also an accomplished negotiator who works effectively with clients, the courts and other attorneys to achieve settlement. She is experienced in mediation, collaborative law, and other forms of alternative dispute resolution. Her early work in real estate and business law offers a distinct advantage to complex property issues that often accompany high profile family law cases. Duffee is known for seeking resolution through negotiation, facilitation of communication, and a clear understanding of the client’s end-goals. If Collaborative Law is not an option for a client, Duffee’s more than three decades of trial experience make her a force in the courtroom.
Named as one of D Magazine’s Best Lawyers In Dallas, Duffee is known for her respectful demeanor and deep-rooted empathy for clients. Her results-oriented strategy and ability to find creative solutions help to solve her clients’ needs.
Pursuant to the passion for helping others, Duffee + Eitzen is a Donor to Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program- in honor of Judge Merrill Hartman, and a founding supporter of the SMU VanSickle Family Law Clinic. Duffee is active in the Dallas community supporting organizations such as Meals on Wheels, The Bridge, North Texas Food Bank, and Attorneys Serving the Community, and the Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program (DVAP). She is also involved with Collaborative Law Dallas, State Bar of Texas, Texas Indian Bar Association, and is a former board member of the Family Law Section of the Dallas Bar Association. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 214-416-9010.