Getting The Family Law Answers You Need
Family law generally involves very stressful and yet critical issues impacting your everyday life. While the Texas Family Code is one of the most structured and thoughtful bodies of law existing in all fifty states, attempting to navigate it alone is a daunting task. An experienced family law firm guides clients through what can be a complicated, potentially expensive and lengthy legal process.
Izzo & Associates, PLLC, was established to help you navigate successfully through this process as quickly and as cost-effectively as possible while at the same time looking out for your rights and interests every step of the way. We have a strong track record of obtaining successful resolutions for our clients to avoid much of the tension and uncertainty associated with family law cases.
How We Can Help
Our firm stands by both our Texas and out-of-state clients who need help with their Texas-related cases. The practice of family law encompasses life-altering matters, including:
- Modifications or enforcement of previous orders
- Protection from domestic abuse or the loss of your assets
- Aid in obtaining child custody
- Aid in obtaining support for a child
- Preparation of court pleadings and orders
- Probate of a deceased loved one’s estate
- Adoption of a new family member
When “family law” comes to mind, most people think of a married couple. In reality, our profession involves all types of families: unmarried parties, grandparents, relatives, and even individuals with no biological relation but who have a legal vested interest in your life or the life of your loved ones. Just by reviewing our service areas, you may get a better flavor of what family law actually entails.
Common Family Law Questions
The following sample questions and answers are, therefore, provided to lend insight into a few of the most common questions we receive, primarily concerning our services related to divorce, modifications and the enforcement of prior orders. They are not, however, intended to replace legal advice regarding your specific needs or fact pattern.
Should I hire a family law attorney?
If you are considering whether to hire a family law attorney, you probably at least need to speak with one. No two cases are exactly alike, and each requires the proper strategy and legal expertise to successfully and adequately conclude it. If you are unsure whether you need legal assistance or you would like to gather some free legal advice moving forward, our attorneys are always glad to speak with you about your specific issues. We make it a practice to let prospective clients know upfront if they have a legally judiciable case, in our opinion, as well as probable odds of a successful resolution of their particular issues.
What should I look for in a family law firm?
It is always best to seek out legal counsel that:
- Has experience specifically in family law (Note: it is fairly easy to look up how long an attorney has been practicing, and it is usually unwise to hire those with limited experience);
- Has a depth of knowledge in legal analysis concerning both simple and complex fact patterns, as well as a successful courtroom record if your case cannot be settled out of court;
- Maintains the appropriate staff to handle your vital issues and/or emergency needs (Note: sometimes single attorney firms can become overwhelmed with their caseload); and in contested matters;
- Are genuinely willing and able to settle your case so long as your needs are satisfied to save you the emotional pain and unnecessary financial burden of needless protracted litigation while at the same time possessing the strategic wisdom and wherewithal to fight hard in court, when and if the need arises.
If I am considering legal action, will my spouse, ex-spouse or other individuals (s) opposing me need to hire an attorney?
Not in all cases, although everyone has the right to independent counsel. The single piece of sound advice that we offer is to see to it that you hire legal counsel who will listen, explain complex legal issues and work in your best interest. Letting your opponent hire an attorney, while lacking one yourself, is quite often a recipe for disaster, since their lawyer will only see to their best interests and not yours.
If my spouse or an opposing party agree, can we just draft an order ourselves?
We advise our clients against using online legal services or pre-prepared forms. Online documents are often not Texas-specific, and they regularly leave out details that will later become difficult to correct or change once the court signs a final order. At a minimum, we always suggest that you meet with a lawyer you can trust to at least review your final documentation, whether it was prepared by someone else, even an opposing attorney, to alert you to items that may be left out or requirements that were purposefully added that could affect you adversely in the future.
Can we use the same attorney for a family-related lawsuit if we agree on what needs to be done?
One attorney cannot represent adverse parties in any lawsuit in the state of Texas. This is considered unethical. It is possible, however, for one party to hire counsel. Then because it appears that the parties agree, the attorney may reach out to the other side to attempt to broker an uncontested private settlement between the parties. In such cases, the attorney will distribute the settlement terms to both sides, and if they both execute it, a final order can be drafted and sent to the court for the judge to sign off on it.
Should I speak with a lawyer about divorce before my spouse?
If at all possible, it is always advisable to speak with an attorney before discussing divorce or any other family law-related issue with a potential opposing party and even other individuals that conceivably alert the potential opposition of your intentions. A competent and experienced family law attorney will answer your questions, explain the process and add insight into the pros and cons of pursuing your action.
This has nothing to do with subterfuge and everything to do with understanding your rights and how to best protect yourself in what might turn out to be a very difficult, emotional and often confusing situation. Simply put, you need to know where you stand first, even if you then speak with your spouse or potential opponent about a settlement. In this way, you will be on firm ground and not so easily taken advantage of.
What if an opposing party and I do not agree on everything?
Suppose a situation exists where opposing parties cannot agree on all issues, but they are not too far apart. In that case, your family law attorney may help with a private settlement agreement or through the process of mediation using a qualified professional to bring both sides together, resulting in a nonrevocable mediated settlement agreement on all issues or even just on some of the issues. If you cannot agree, you will not be forced to settle in mediation.
Get The Answers You Need
If you have more questions about your family law needs or you are ready to meet with a skilled attorney, contact us today. Call us at 512-982-1161 or email us here and schedule your initial consultation today.