When we have a disagreement with someone usually we can work things out and move on. Sometimes the dispute can be more severe and involve your job, your money, your business, your investments or your kids. If it involves all of those things... you need a family law attorney.
The number one reason that people need a family law attorney, that all the other issues stem from, is divorce. The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) keeps records and provides statistics on a wide variety of social issues in Texas and the stats on divorce are surprising. The divorce rate in Dallas county is 52%. Tarrant county sits at the top of the Texas pile at 56% and the rest of the counties in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex not faring much better.
Do I need a Family Law Attorney to Get Divorced?
Not every divorce requires the services of a skilled attorney. A fair number of couples seeking divorce can remain friends through the process or they don't have kids or large assets to divide. These situations are relatively easy to navigate, law degree or not. It's when there are kids, businesses, retirement accounts or other assets falling under the "community property" banner that it becomes necessary to bring a legal professional into the mix. With thousands of people needing a family law attorney there has been a boom of pop-up "law firms" appearing out of nowhere trying to get a piece of this lucrative pie.
Find Out How To Pick a Divorce Attorney
We had a chance to sit down with Dallas family law attorney and municipal judge John P. McCall Jr. We talked about family law, divorce, questions that will help you pick a lawyer that fits your needs and some legal milestones for the LGBTQ community in Texas. John's BBA is from University of Texas in Austin, his MBA is from East Texas State University and Juris Doctorate is from Texas Wesleyan University School of Law. After practicing law for over 20 years in Dallas and serving as a Justice of the Peace McCall has learned a thing or two about the real world applications of the law surrounding divorce and who you will want in your corner if you end up in courtroom. Some of the tips we got were common sense. Others... not so much.
The most important piece of divorce advice:
We understand that this is not "how to pick a divorce attorney" type of advice and we (The Dallas Metro Review) were also advised that this would be a great point to reiterate that nothing in this article should be considered legal advice. We are not a law firm, we are not lawyers or in any way qualified or claiming to be qualified to offer legal advice. Also, any anecdotes offered by Mr. McCall for the purposes of this article should not be considered legal advice and you should seek legal counsel for your specific situation from an attorney licensed to practice law in your state
Back to "stay calm."
According to McCall, this is the first and best piece of advice that he gives to most of his clients. Family law matters are inherently emotionally charged and often lead to otherwise reasonable people doing very unreasonable things. It is important to remember that once divorce, custody or child support gets taken up in court everything that you do and say will come out in front of the judge. "I can't count how many times a heated social media post has made it's way to the judge during a custody battle. " he says. Just by taking that extra second to take a deep breath and ask yourself "do I want this text/facebook post/instagram story to be read out loud to a judge?" and if the answer is no, don't do it. Because so many people are looking to get in that jab or want the satisfaction of "telling someone off" that critical step is often overlooked.
What to look for when looking for a divorce attorney
The last thing you want to do is just flip through the yellow pages (or, in 2019 rely on a quick google search) and go with the first attorney you see. Your divorce attorney is going to be the expert you rely on to make wise and informed decisions about your divorce. You may be tempted to ask your lawyer friend who got you out of a parking ticket or maybe the lawyer that drafted the lease on your office space; but don't.
According to Mr. McCall here are a few things you should be looking for when making the selection:
Questions to ask an attorney before you hire them
John's a very busy guy and that's all the time we could get from him before he started billing us for the interview. He did leave us by stating that he has handled thousands (yeah, we asked twice. He said thousands.) of divorces in Dallas and if you need a divorce attorney in Dallas go ahead and contact The Law Offices of John P. McCall Jr. at 214-617-9674