Should I Represent Myself in a Texas Divorce?
What People Need to Know about ‘Pro Se’ Divorce
Whether you are thinking about filing for divorce or have just learned that your spouse has, you’re already involved in a divorce whether you wish to be or not. Even under ideal circumstances, where spouses are generally amicable, divorce can be a difficult process to undergo. Not only are there important deadlines to meet and hearings to attend, but it all happens against the emotional backdrop of a failed marriage.
While Texas law allows people to represent themselves in their divorce – known as “pro se” divorce – most people are unable to be effective advocates for themselves. A big reason for this is what you’d expect: Most people don’t understand the legal process of divorce well enough to handle it without a professional attorney’s help.
Why is this important? Well, mistakes made on paperwork, missed deadlines, and other “technical” mishaps can all factor into decisions as huge as child custody, child support, alimony, and property division. They may or may not be the deciding factors, but issues in divorce are often too important to allow avoidable mistakes to slip by.
Combined with the fact that divorce can be an emotionally difficult situation for anyone to handle, even lawyers should consider hiring someone else to represent them!
Any Attorney’s Experience Matters
You might be thinking, “divorce is already expensive – why get an attorney involved?” The thought is tempting, maybe even a little convincing when you remember that Texas allows you to represent yourself in court – but you aren’t as well prepared as you think to handle your divorce on your own.
When you hire a divorce attorney to represent your interests in a divorce, you’re gaining the experience that individual has when it comes to advocating for people like you. Seasoned lawyers know how to fill out and file important paperwork, they won’t miss deadlines or hearings, and – more importantly – they know how to craft persuasive legal arguments that can help you protect what’s most important to you during your divorce.
How Do I Choose the Right Divorce Attorney for Me?
As your legal advocate, your attorney should be willing to go up to bat for you during your divorce and swing for the fences. In other words, you shouldn’t accept less than an attorney who wants to help you achieve the best possible outcome in your divorce and actively works to achieve that goal.
No attorney can guarantee results, but those who demonstrate competency and a willingness to handle their clients’ cases on a personalized basis can keep favorable results within reach. They should also have several years of experience representing clients in divorce, ideally if family law matters are the primary focus of their practice.
Finally, you should “trust your gut” to a degree. If an attorney looks good on paper but doesn’t inspire confidence when you meet with them, try meeting with another lawyer before making your decision.
What Our Attorneys Can Do for You
If you’ve reconsidered representing yourself in your divorce, you’ll thank yourself for it later. By choosing to hire professional legal counsel, you’re taking the right step toward avoiding unnecessary problems during your divorce.
At The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC, we have many attorneys who are ready and willing to assess your need for legal support. If we believe we can help you navigate your divorce, you can rely on us to provide personalized and professional legal assistance throughout this process.
We can help our clients with a variety of matters related to divorce, including the following:
If you want to learn more, request a consultation with one of our attorneys today.