There are many ways to get divorced. Below is a description of various approaches to help you determine the best approach for you and your family. You should ask your Family Law Attorney Dallas, TX about them.
Kitchen Table Approach
In this approach one or both of you would have a Family law attorney Dallas, TX. However the lawyer(s) would mainly act as a scribe. You and your spouse would sit down at the kitchen table (so to speak) and work out your deal. In other words, the two of you would tell the family law attorney Dallas, TX how you are going to divide your assets and debts, what the support payments will be (if any), how you will handle your taxes and the details of your parenting plan. In this model the lawyers usually do not do any negotiating for you. Their role is to turn your agreement into legally binding documents. These documents will include a decree of divorce, and possibly other documents such as an agreement incident to divorce, real estate documents to transfer the house, and documents to transfer the cars and/or a portion of the 401K.
Pros: This is the least expensive process involving family law attorney Dallas TX if you are considering attorney’s fees only. It can be done fairly quickly if you and your spouse generally agree on things.
Cons: This could be the most expensive process if you strike a poor financial deal for yourself. Most people cannot do this effectively due to emotion and the dynamics of their relationship with their spouse. This is a poor choice if one party tends to bully the other.
Representing Yourself (Pro Se)
In Texas and other states, you are allowed to represent yourself without using an attorney (check your state’s divorce laws). You are called a “Pro Se” when you represent yourself. In order to do this, you must familiarize yourself with your state’s divorce laws, as well as fill out and file all of the applicable forms yourself.
Pros: You do not have to pay a lawyer.
Cons: You are held to the same rules and standards as lawyers. There is a reason that lawyers went to law school. The procedures and rules are not easy to sort out and it is unlikely that you will successfully sort them out. If you have a contested hearing or trial, you will be held to the rules of evidence, just like a lawyer, and it may be difficult to place the evidence before the court that you would like the judge to consider. You are likely to end up with an unfavorable result.
$199.00 Internet Divorce
There are various websites and advertisements that promise a very inexpensive divorce. These are mainly document preparation services.
Pros: It is inexpensive.
Cons: This is similar to representing yourself, but with a form that you likely do not fully understand. The problem is that your decree of divorce is a very important document if you have any assets or debts, as well as if you have children.
Suggestion: Instead of using this method, if you and your spouse have an agreement, consider hiring a family law attorney Dallas, TX to draft your agreement properly. It will be more expensive than an internet divorce, but the internet divorce is worthless if executed incorrectly and later you have to hire a lawyer to fix it. It will be more expensive to fix it later (if it even can be fixed) than to do it right the first time.
This is the Court model. If you choose to pursue this model, the goal will be to settle if possible. If a settlement cannot be reached between the parties and their lawyers, the Judge will make decisions for you after a hearing or trial.
Pros:Sometimes you and your spouse cannot reach settlement and you need a third party (a Judge) to bring resolution to your case.
Cons:Litigation is typically the most expensive model. This model is not private and usually involves more mud-slinging. Also, you do not have the neutral mental health professional and financial planner that the collaborative model provides.
Collaborative Law is a more civilized and respectful, interest-based approach to resolving the case outside of the court system. It typically involves two collaborative family law attorney’s dallas TX, a neutral mental health professional and a neutral financial planner.
Pros:This is an excellent way to resolve difficult issues surrounding division of assets or custody of the children in a private, less adversarial manner. You and your spouse have control over the process and the outcome. The process allows the divorcing couple to come up with creative solutions for their divorce settlement and going through the process can help to increase financial knowledge and begin laying the groundwork for an effective co-parenting relationship.
Cons:The cost is usually less expensive than the litigation model, but it is more expensive than the other non-litigated methods described above. This option is only available if both parties agree.
Myth Buster: Do you and your spouse have to get along well to use the Collaborative Law method? NO. The Collaborative Law method can be used in most (but not all) situations. The professionals who practice this method have been through specific training and are able to handle difficult parenting and personality issues, complex financial matters, addictions, and other challenging situations. And it allows these challenges to be handled in a private setting.
Myth Buster: Can a lawyer represent both the husband and wife in a divorce if everything is agreed or friendly? NO. It is ethically not allowed because it is a potential conflict of interest. The lawyer cannot represent two people against each other that have the potential to have conflicting interests. In a divorce setting, even if you think that you agree upon everything, you certainly have the potential to be in conflict. For example, you want the green couch and so does he, or you want the children on Christmas Day every year and so does she.