VARGHESE SUMMERSETT FAMILY LAW GROUP
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DIVORCE LAWYER FORT WORTH
300 Throckmorton Street, Suite 1650 B
Fort Worth, TX 76102
Fort Worth Family Law Attorney
Divorce, custody battles, and property division can be some of the toughest times a person goes through.
We fight to protect your rights during and after a divorce. Some divorces are simple and straightforward, but others require complex litigation to protect your assets and your parental rights. You’ve worked long and hard, been successful, and acquired assets that are important to you and that you’d like to keep.
On the parenting side, you are fighting for fair access to your children and potentially reasonable child support.
You need a tenacious attorney to win these battles. That’s who we are. We have experience fighting and winning complex cases and protecting major assets during and after divorce. Time and time again we have won the battles and obtained the results our clients were hoping for – right here in Fort Worth and throughout Tarrant County. There’s not a judge at the Tarrant County Family Courthouse we have not been in front of or had success with.
We’d like to help you get a good start to the rest of your life. The first step on that journey begins with a consultation with us.
Tips from a Fort Worth Family Lawyer to Help You Through Your Divorce
Tip 1: File first, if possible.
The person who starts a divorce by filing the petition with the court and having divorce papers served on their spouse is called the petitioner. Many people are reluctant to be the one who starts the divorce, but there are advantages to being the petitioner like in many other life situations. It’s good to be on the offensive rather than on the defensive. It’s better to be proactive rather than reactive. When you file first, your petition for divorce and motion for temporary orders will frame the issues for the divorce. You will be the first to state your position on each issue. The court reads your documents first. Your lawyer speaks first. Filing first won’t guarantee a win, but it may give you an advantage.
Tip 2: “Keep your saddle oiled and your gun greased.”
Winning in family court is all about preparing, rather than reacting. Whether you are thinking about a divorce, or have been served with divorce papers, prepare instead of reacting. Work through the issues with your lawyer so they have the ammunition they need when the time comes. Where will you live? Who will get custody of the kids? What is reasonable visitation? What support is fair? How will assets be divided?
Of those issues, communicate which are the most important to you. Outline what you might be willing to compromise about. Think about what your spouse’s priorities are. What will they compromise? Will they be amicable or will this divorce be contentious. The better prepared you are, the better results you will get.
Tip 3: Make the most of your consultation
You’re paying for the consultation, make the most of it. If you are prepared and concise, you’ll be able to gather information and understand your best next steps efficiently. You can prepare for the consultation by making a list of questions and concerns and making a list of your assets and debts.
Tip 4: “Know When to Hold ‘Em”
If you hope to keep the family home, don’t voluntarily move out. If you want custody, stay with the kids. If your spouse is leaving the family home, put things you want to keep in a safe location where they can’t grab them on the way out. It’s often easier to keep what you have than fight to get it back.
Temporary orders have a way of becoming permanent. It’s smarter to thoroughly prepare for the initial temporary orders hearing and achieve everything you can than rely on things getting fixed at the final orders hearing.
Think about it this way, it is far easier for a judge to maintain the status quo than changing something that is working. Temporary orders have a habit of becoming permanent orders because it’s usually easier to defend a win than overcome a loss
Tip 5: “It’s better to keep your mouth shut and seem a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.”
Don’t say something to your spouse that you don’t want to be repeated to the judge. Be willing to walk away, hang up, or just keep your mouth shut. Emotions may run high when you decide to dissolve your marriage, but you have to be mindful about what you say. Words in conversations, texts, or emails can be taken out of context. Don’t say or write something you do not want a judge to read. This includes anything you might consider posting on social media. Everything you say is evidence that can be used against you during the divorce or during a modification of your parenting plan. So do not give the other side evidence to use against you.
Tip 6: Let Your Actions Do the Talking
Your actions and conduct should match what you’re telling your attorney and your attorney is telling the court. The last thing the judge wants to hear is that you are fighting around your kids or that you don’t want to spend time around your kids if you’re fighting for custody. Don’t tell the court one thing and then do another. Don’t miss visitation. If you tell the court you can’t afford the financial demands that are on you, don’t buy a new car or go on a luxurious vacation in the middle of the divorce. How you live and what you prioritize is often great evidence during a divorce.
Tip 7: Be Honest
Be honest, particularly with your attorney. Everything you care about is at stake: what your family will look like in the future, your assets, and often even your reputation. The more open you are with your attorney, the more they can help you. Conversely, if the court catches you in even a small lie, it’s going to have a hard time convincing the court that you are credible. Discuss the hard truths with your attorney so they can advise you on the best course of action.
Tip 8: Be All Cattle and No Hat
After your divorce, focus on yourself and your future life. Keep your financial successes off the radar. Bragging about your good fortune and hard work will result in your ex-spouse looking for a share. While you shouldn’t lie, you don’t need to advertise your successes.
FORT WORTH DIVORCE LAWYERS
There is an old adage that a divorce can be as expensive as you want to make it, and there is some truth to that. This is why understanding a client’s goals is so important. Some marriages can be brought to an end amicably, and the goal is to do so as efficiently as possible. In other instances, both parties are at odds, and it is a take-no-prisoners, scorch-the-earth battle for which you must prepare. Fortunately, the attorneys at Varghese Summersett Family Law Group have experience handling both extremes and everything in between. There is no one-size-fits-all solution for family court, and the firm’s attorneys have proven their results in and outside of the courtroom.
Varghese Summersett Family Law Group is a full-service family law firm. Our practice areas include:
What We’re Known For
While most cases are resolved without a trial, we’re at home in the courtroom so if the day comes when your case needs to be tried, we’re ready for the battle. Our experience also ensures the other side knows we bring our A-game, both in and outside of the courtroom.
Putting Clients First
We are known for putting our clients first. We’re accessible. We listen. Whether it is an “after-hours” phone call or a secure message through our Client Portal, the attorneys at the firm know that being accessible to their clients is one of the key distinctions they have from many other attorneys.
Guidance, Not Pressure
We are here to guide you through your decisions, but we recognize the decisions are yours to make. If you realize during our consultation that counseling and reconciliation might be what’s best for you, and that’s happened, we won’t steer you towards divorce. We want an open and honest dialogue with you, and if it turns out we can help you through the family courts, we will do so with the best of our talents.
MEDIATION AND DIVORCE
Mediation is sometimes a cost-effective solution to divorce, custody, and child support. Many family courts require mediation (or at least an attempt at mediation) before a court-ordered resolution. Our attorneys are adept at protecting their client’s interests aggressively and with integrity both through the mediation process and through litigation, should that become necessary.
Going through a divorce is a major undertaking and we know you will have questions about the legal and financial implications of your decisions. We are here to walk you through those. The implications can become exponentially more complex if there are significant assets to protect. We are experienced at doing just that. These are areas of law that can be intimidating, even for attorneys who are inexperienced, because making a mistake can be devastating. Asset division in high net worth divorces requires the experience and resources to seek specialized discovery and utilize trained experts. We are experienced in handling the division of business interests, real estate, stock options, and trust. We are also experienced in drafting Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (QDROs) to divide funds at a future date.
Valuing businesses and investments takes command of the law and financial acumen. We have both. You do not have to, and should not, face the challenges in family court alone. Put our experience to work for you.
START WITH A CONSULTATION
Clients often come to the Varghese Summersett Family Law Group for a consultation when they have been served with divorce papers or when they are contemplating filing for divorce.
During our initial consultation, we will gather facts about your case. What brought you to us? Have you been served with divorce papers? If so, what was going on before you were served? Perhaps, most importantly, we will assess your goals.
If you a contemplating filing for divorce, we will talk about what you want to see change and your ideal outcome. We will apply the law to the facts and your goals to discuss what we can achieve and the proof that will be required to reach those goals.
Once we know what you hope for and have outlined a way to reach those goals, we will discuss the costs of moving forward. The cost of a divorce can range from $2,500 to five or six figures depending on a number of factors including how amicable or contested the divorce is, the nature of the estate, custody, and division of business assets.