Don’t Get Divorced Without Representation

by Scott Morgan on January 30, 2013

When people learn that their spouse wants a divorce they often will choose not to get their own lawyer. This is often true even after they have been served with a formal court papers.

For some this decision is because they feel guilty about their conduct during the marriage, for others it is out of a desire to avoid the divorce becoming “ugly.” Still others think that having a lawyer won’t make much of a difference in their case anyway.

Don’t Make This Mistake, Get a Lawyer

Having been a Houston divorce lawyer for nearly 20 years, I have done many consultations with prospective clients who previously settled their divorce case without representation. They come to me because in hindsight they realize they made a mistake. Usually they were taken advantage of because their spouse was represented by a good family law attorney and they were not. Unfortunately, there is typically not a lot I can do to help them at this stage. Settlements are nearly impossible to undo.

Failure to Hire a Good Lawyer Can Not Only Cost You Money, It Can Impact Your Relationship with Your Children

I once met with a man who was in this exact situation. His now ex-wife had hired a lawyer and he had signed the Final Decree her lawyer had given him without a single change requested. I’m not even sure he read it before he signed it. While this is a dangerous thing to do financially, in his case it was worse because he and his wife were parents to a young child.

Not knowing what he reasonable to expect he had unwittingly agreed that wife would have the exclusive right to establish the child’s residence without any geographical restriction. This meant she had the right to move whenever and wherever she wanted with the child with our garden to how it impacted his periods of possession. In a typical divorce case in Texas the custodial parent is restricted to living in the county of divorce and the surrounding counties, as long as the noncustodial parent lives in that same area.

Fortunately for him, this was a provision that we were able to go back to court and modify as being in the child’s best interest. So the end result worked out, albeit in a much more complicated and expensive way than it would have if he had been represented in the divorce case initially.

About the Author

Scott Morgan is a board certified family law attorney in Texas. The firm he founded has an Austin divorce lawyer office as well as one in Houston, Texas.

Scott Morgan
Morgan Law Firm is dedicated exclusively to representing clients in divorce and family law matters. Founded in 1994 by Scott Morgan, the Morgan Law Firm strives to diligently represent its client's interests and conclude their cases fairly and expeditiously.
Scott Morgan
Scott Morgan
Scott Morgan

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  • I second this assessment. A good lawyer is key in allowing for a fresh start after a divorce. I have seen time and time again families torn apart due to one side not having expert legal representation.

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