Who Are The Best Family Law Lawyers in Houston?
Going through a divorce is difficult for everyone involved for many reasons. It can have an impact on your children, your financial stability, and your mental health in the short term. Unfortunately, it’s very likely that you’re feeling incredibly stressed and unsure.
As well as this, you have the added stress of finding a good family law attorney that you can trust and rely on. If you have no previous experience with Texas law or hiring legal representation, then it’s understandable if you feel overwhelmed and anxious.
It’s hard to know who would be the best divorce lawyer for you.
You should know that no one attorney can be labeled the “best”, as often it completely depends on who is the right fit for your specific case.
While we can’t tell you who the top family law attorneys are, we can tell you that Matthew Skillern is Board Certified in Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, which is an accomplishment that only the top 1% of family lawyers in Texas have earned. He has also achieved the highest possible rating of 10.0 on Avvo.com, an independent review site that bases its ratings on awards, years in service, and clients’ reviews, and was voted Best Divorce Lawyers in Houston, TX, 2020 by Expertise.com. He is a strong divorce lawyer with an impressive success record.
Here at Skillern Firm, we’re dedicated to helping clients navigate through the divorce process and the family law issues that follow, such as property and family disputes. Our lawyers have extensive knowledge and experience when it comes to Texas family law, so we’ll be able to provide you with the legal advice and support that you need.
The final divorce settlement that you receive could potentially have a lasting and significant impact on your and your children’s lives. Because of this, it’s important that you find a highly-qualified, experienced family law attorney to fight to protect your rights and interests.
While we’re confident that we’re the right law firm for you, we want you to be confident too. This is why we’ve created a list of qualities to look for when hiring a divorce lawyer.
To schedule an initial consultation with a skilled legal professional, call us now at 936-213-8479.
Should You Trust Advertisements?
You should never hire someone purely based on advertisements, especially if you don’t have any previous experience in hiring legal services. Having a good advertisement does not automatically mean they’re a good family law attorney. You should try to remember that advertisements are very cleverly designed to capture your attention, and may not be an honest reflection of the lawyer.
After seeing an advertisement, you still need to ensure you do plenty of research when choosing your attorney. You should look at their website, and independent reviews, and seek a consultation before you commit to a lawyer.
What Features Should You Look Out For When Hiring a Divorce Attorney in Houston, TX?
If you’re looking for a skilled and experienced lawyer, you can’t just rely on false promises. Listed below are some important features that you should search for when you’re looking for the perfect lawyer for your family law case.
A Successful Track Record
Track records are one of the best ways to find out if an attorney is any good. Reliable family attorneys can happily show you many testimonials from previous clients and be able to provide you with proof of prior success in divorce cases including ones that were similar to yours. However, you shouldn’t stop there – you should also check independent review sites to read referrals. If they don’t provide you with sufficient evidence of their track record, then you should take this as a red flag and continue searching for a lawyer.
Our team at Skillern Firm is proud of their track records and would be happy to share evidence of their many successes with you.
Experience in Court
You will also want to hire an attorney with an impressive trial record. This is because, while your case will ideally be able to be resolved through negotiation outside of court, this may not be possible and so you’ll want to hire an attorney who is experienced with family law judges and is prepared and able to protect your rights in court if needed.
Our lawyers at Skillern Firm will try to avoid going to court as much as possible because we know how stressful it can be for clients. However, if it is in your best interests, then we will be ready to represent you in court and fight for your rights. You can trust that we have the resources and experience needed to help you through your case, no matter how complex it may be.
Experience in Mediation and Negotiation
Court proceedings can quickly make any divorce process more expensive, much longer, and extremely stressful. Therefore, for all divorce cases, you should attempt to decrease the time spent in court. Because of this, you need to hire a divorce attorney who has skills and experience in mediating and negotiation.
There are many benefits of mediation, including the following:
- Protects any children from potentially nasty court proceedings.
- Leaves you freer to reach more specific arrangements that better suit each party’s lifestyle.
- Takes less time, as court proceedings often take many months, and sometimes even years, to get through.
- Is much less expensive.
- Helps to build a more courteous relationship between you and your ex-spouse.
Your attorney will make sure to prioritize you and your needs and will guide you through the divorce process so that it suits you best. If your attorney wants to immediately take your case to court, you should continue searching for a lawyer. However, you should bear in mind that sometimes there is no choice but to go to court if mediation and negotiation attempts fail.
Our team of lawyers at Skillern Firm is very experienced in mediation and negotiation, and they plan to utilize these skills first. Even if you believe it’s unlikely that you and your ex-spouse can come to an agreement without the court stepping in, our lawyers are highly skilled in negotiation, and we may be able to help you resolve your disagreements.
Every individual case is different, and so your attorney should tailor their approach to you specifically. For example, if your case involves young children, then you may need to enlist the help of a family lawyer who has plenty of experience dealing with child custody cases, whether that’s fighting for sole custody or joint custody.
We have lawyers at Skillern Firm who have a variety of specializations. You can trust that we’ll assign the most suited attorney to your case.
Qualifications and Awards
One way to ensure that you’re hiring a highly-qualified lawyer is to see if they have any professional associations and honors.
As Bar Associations work to hold attorneys accountable to excellent standards and make sure that they continuously treat their clients fairly, you should search for attorneys that are associated with State Bar Associations. Matthew Skillern, our managing attorney, is proudly associated with the State Bar of Texas, the Houston Bar Association, and the Fort Bend County Bar Association.
If an attorney has received honors for their work, then this is more proof that they are highly respected and qualified. Our lawyers have achieved many different awards, and they’d be happy to tell you about them.
Getting Along with Your Attorney
When you first meet your attorney in your consultation, you’ll be able to see how comfortable you feel around them and ensure you get on. As you will ultimately be spending a lot of time with your attorney, finding one who you feel comfortable around and who is supportive as you go through this difficult time is very important. You’ll struggle even more through the following months if you and your attorney don’t get on.
Sharing the Same Values
Divorce-related issues are often very personal issues, and so it would be ideal for you and your attorney to share the same values. You need a lawyer who will learn what is important for you and fight tirelessly for it.
We try to prioritize what is most important to you, whether that’s you being made the custodial parent, being awarded a specific asset, or something else. We want to ensure you feel confident about your new and exciting future and securing the divorce agreement that you’re after is the best way to do this.
Dedicated Family Law Attorneys
While there are many that are very experienced in family law, it may be best to avoid working with a personal injury or criminal defense attorney. This is because an attorney that specializes in family law will have a lot more knowledge and experience when it comes to cases like yours. You can trust that family law attorneys understand the complexities of Texas family law and your specific case, making them much more suitable attorneys for you.
As Skillern Firm is a family law firm, it means that all our lawyers work specifically in family law, and especially in divorce law. Because of this, you can trust that our team has the knowledge needed to help you navigate through this process.
One sign that a lawyer is reputable is if they’re in high demand. However, while you may not have immediate access to them 24/7, they should still be available to answer your questions promptly and not leave you feeling as though you’ve been forgotten about.
At any law firm, the attorney-client relationship should be a priority. Your attorney should ensure that you’re always up to date with your case and completely comfortable with the process.
You should avoid national attorneys, as they usually do not have in-depth knowledge of your state’s divorce laws. They also may not always be able to be physically present during negotiations or in court. Because of this, you should look for a law office that practices law in Texas only. This means that they have a much stronger understanding of Texas divorce law, and can represent you better during negotiations and in court.
Skillern Firm is based in Texas and covers Houston, Harris County, Sugar Land, Cypress, Katy, Fort Bend County, and Montgomery County. Therefore, you’ll be able to trust that our attorneys have a deep knowledge of Texas family law, and have experience in your local court with your local judges which is very beneficial.
What Should You Ask a Divorce Attorney?
We want any potential clients to be as comfortable and confident in our attorneys as possible. In order to ensure you make the best choice for you and your case, we recommend that you ask any divorce attorneys the following questions:
- Who are your usual clients?
- Have you handled cases that are similar to mine?
- Can you show me testimonials and referrals?
- How much experience do you have in family and divorce law?
- Do you have a legal specialization, and if so what is it?
- What sort of communication do you provide?
You should only hire them if you’re completely satisfied with their answers.
What Are The Practice Areas of Skillern Firm, Houston TX?
Our family law attorneys don’t just specialize in divorce law. They have experience in helping clients resolve a variety of disputes. This means that our lawyers have extensive experience when it comes to many of the legal issues surrounding your divorce, which is something you should look for when searching for an attorney.
Our lawyers cover the following family law issues:
Modifying a Court Order
Court orders about custody or monetary support can be modified for multiple reasons. If you can no longer pay your support, for example, you lost your job, or your children no longer feel safe with your ex-spouse, then you can ask the court to modify your order.
Unfortunately, it is very hard to secure a modification of a court order. By hiring legal representation, you’ll be increasing the chances of securing the changes you want.
After a divorce, supporting your children becomes much more complicated and up for debate. The priority should be to ensure that your children’s needed are constantly met.
If one parent has primary custody of the children, then they will likely be entitled to financial support from the other parent.
If you want help in a family law matter, then a skilled attorney can assist you in securing the result you want.
It can be very hard for divorcing couples to agree on child custody. All parties should bear in mind that the priority is your children and their wellbeing.
A reputable family law attorney often has an unbiased viewpoint, meaning that they’ll be able to prioritize your children’s needs and ensure their interests are protected.
Mothers and Fathers’ Rights
In the state of Texas, both parents have equal rights, meaning that no one has an advantage when you’re seeking custody rights unless it can be proven that you are a threat to your children. Unfortunately, this does mean that if both parents are fighting for custody, it will take a long time to resolve, especially if you don’t have an experienced attorney on your side.
If during your marriage you relied on your spouse’s income, you may find that spousal support is vital for your life after divorce. If you want spousal support, your divorce attorney will need to be able to prove that you need financial assistance.
If there is a disparity in your income, or you had to quit your job during your marriage to take care of your family, then your divorce attorney can use this to prove that you deserve spousal support.
Orders about child custody and support, and spousal support, need to be followed by all parties. This means that you can’t prevent your ex-spouse from seeing your children or refuse to pay any type of financial support.
If this happens to you, then you have the right to seek legal help. One of our attorneys will sit down with your ex-spouse and their attorney to negotiate with them, or we will go through the court system if necessary.
You may also be able to seek a modification of the order if your ex-spouse is violating it.
High Asset Divorce
Texas is a community property state, and so any property obtained during your marriage is often presumed to be community property. You’ll need to provide evidence if you want to prove otherwise, which is how an experienced attorney can help you. Under Texas law, separate property is property that was obtained by one party before the marriage or received as a gift or inheritance during the marriage.
Higher asset divorces can be a lot more complicated when it comes to property division. All assets will require valuation and will need to be divided into community or separate property.
The state of Texas is a 50/50 equitable division state, which means that both parties have a right to a fair share of the marital estate, but this rarely means that property is equally divided.
When dividing property, the court may take into account your earning ability, any debt that you have, and if you had to make any sacrifices for your marriage, such as quitting your job to raise your children.
It’s highly unlikely that you and your ex-spouse simply agree on property division, and so it’s crucial that you hire a Houston divorce lawyer who will fight to protect your rights and interests.
Recovering Attorney Fees
If your spouse has expendable income, they may start filing petty claims with their divorce lawyer. If you think this is happening to you, your lawyer may ask a judge to force your spouse to pay for your attorney fees. While it isn’t guaranteed, it would be incredibly useful and stop your divorce from becoming too much of a financial burden.
Domestic abuse is a common reason for divorce. If you have been a victim of domestic violence, then you should tell your attorney. A skilled lawyer will ask the court to stop your spouse from being allowed to have any contact with you.
Domestic violence is serious, and so you need to seek immediate assistance. If you need immediate help, get in touch with local authorities.
Sadly, while domestic abuse is on the rise, so are false allegations. Spouses have before wrongly accused their partners of domestic abuse in a desperate attempt to secure full custody.
Our team has experience in protecting clients against these types of allegations, and we’d be able to help you fight the accusations. A qualified divorce attorney can help you prove these allegations are false.
It’s very rare that divorce is ever amicable: there are things that you will disagree on.
Couples often struggle to decide custody, divide property, and work out spousal support without relying on legal help. These complex topics may have a substantial, lasting impact on your future after the divorce, and so you shouldn’t back down.
Unfortunately, this does mean that divorce proceedings last a long time, especially if you don’t have the help of a talented divorce attorney. A lawyer can help you negotiate with your ex-spouse, and ensure that all your fair requests are met. They can help the two of you come to an agreement that you are satisfied with.
Why Should I Hire a Divorce Lawyer?
Getting a divorce is usually an emotional, difficult decision to make, and it is never made lightly. The level of such emotion and stress can mean that your judgment is clouded and/or you rush into hiring a lawyer in an attempt to get the process over with as quickly as possible. However, it’s essential you don’t let this happen: you need a lawyer who can secure a fair divorce settlement on your behalf so you can properly move forward.
While it’s not a requirement in Texas, it’s strongly advised that you hire an experienced family law lawyer when going through a divorce. A skilled lawyer can logically work on your case with an unbiased viewpoint and can fight for the best settlement for you.
Your lawyer can also take on the hard, draining work, such as filing the necessary paperwork, mediating, and handling your ex-spouse and their lawyer. This may slightly reduce some of your stress.
Texas family law is very complex, so it’s vital that you have someone on your side who is guiding you through the process and able to explain your legal rights and options to you.
To make the process as stress-free as possible, hire an experienced lawyer.
Finding the Best Divorce Lawyer
We know that finding the perfect divorce lawyer can feel like an added stress on top of an already stressful situation. However, it is crucial that you take the time to find an attorney who can support you through this time and prioritize your wishes and needs.
You need an experienced, skilled lawyer, who is able to explain every step of the process to you and use their knowledge and resources to secure the best resolution for you.
At Skillern Firm, our attorneys have what it takes to help you. We know the emotional stress that you’re under, and so we want to help ease it. We promise that we will use our skills in negotiating and mediating to try to work out a beneficial agreement for you outside of court, but we are prepared to protect your rights in court if necessary.
To find out if we’re the right law firm for your case, contact us now and schedule your initial consultation. We can go through your case with you, and answer any queries you have.