Divorce Attorney Kingwood

Divorce Attorney Kingwood

Filing for divorce can be an intimidating, stressful experience. However, there are certain things a person can do to help minimize the stress and expense of the divorce process. If you are thinking about obtaining a divorce, the first thing you should do is meet with an attorney for a consultation. You can consult with an attorney without obligating yourself to file for divorce. The consultation is completely confidential.

A qualified, experienced attorney will explain to you what your legal rights and obligations will be. It is the attorney’s responsibility to sufficiently educate you about the law so that you can make informed decisions. The attorney will explain to you the difference between community property and separate property. The attorney will provide advice about the division of the assets and debts between the spouses. The attorney will inform you about child support obligations and child conservatorship. The attorney will also discuss with you the process of the divorce so that you will know what to expect. The attorney will also discuss costs with you.

The initial consultation is your opportunity to provide information to the attorney. Every marriage is unique and no two divorces are exactly alike. Be prepared to tell the attorney “your story.” Be honest with the attorney. Let the attorney know the good things as well as the bad things that have occurred during the marriage. An experienced attorney has heard it all before and will not be judgmental. The attorney needs to understand the events that have occurred during the marriage in order to be able to give you appropriate advice.

To prepare for your consultation, you should gather together certain information that will be required by the attorney and court. Early preparation will make the divorce process easier and less costly. Factual information the attorney will need includes the following:

1. The legal names of the husband and wife;
2. The social security numbers and driver’s license numbers of the husband and wife;
3. The birth dates of the husband and wife;
4. The birth places of the husband and wife;
5. The race of the husband and wife (required for statistical reporting to the State);
6. The residential address of the husband and wife;
7. The place of marriage;
8. The date of marriage;
9. The date of separation;
10. The legal names of the children under the age of 18 or enrolled in high school;
11. The dates of birth of the children under the age of 18 or enrolled in high school;
12. The social security numbers and driver’s license numbers of the children under the age of 18 or enrolled in high school; and
13. The birth places of the children under the age of 18 or enrolled in high school.

You should also attempt to gather the following financial information:
1. Income tax returns for the past three years;
2. Current wage information for the husband and wife (paystubs with year to date information are terrific);
3. Current bank statements or printouts of all checking accounts;
4. Current bank statements or printouts of all savings accounts;
5. Current statements for retirement accounts;
6. Copy of warranty deed and deed of trust for all real property;
7. Vehicle descriptions – year, make, model and vehicle identification number;
8. Listing of other assets; and
9. Listing of debts – loans, mortgages and credit cards.

If you and your spouse have previously filed for divorce or received services through the Attorney General’s office, you should locate that paperwork and have it available for the attorney to review. If a protective order has ever been issued between you and your spouse, you should provide that information to the attorney. Other information that will be helpful to the attorney in providing appropriate advice to you includes criminal history of both spouses, alcohol consumption habits of both spouses, illegal narcotic usage of spouses, prescription drug usage of spouses, incidences of physical or verbal abuse between spouses and incidences of marital misconduct.

The initial divorce consultation is also your opportunity to evaluate the attorney and decide if he/she is the right attorney for you. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Ask about the attorney’s experience. Where did the attorney go to school? How long has the attorney been in practice? How long has the attorney been handling divorces? How much experience does the attorney have with your particular problem? What is the hourly billing rate? How can you minimize the costs and expenses? Is the retainer refundable? It is important to feel comfortable with your attorney and to have confidence in the attorney’s ability to represent you. While no divorce will be stress-free, your choice of an attorney can make a difference.

Randy R. Rowney is a certified mediator through the University of Houston Law Center, Blakely Advocacy Institute. He is admitted to practice before all Texas as well as the Federal Courts for the Southern District of Texas and has been practicing family law since 1983.  Mr. Rowney is Of Counsel to the law firm, Currin, Wuest, Mielke, Paul & Knapp, PLLC (“CWMPK”) located at 800 Rockmead Drive, Kingwood, Texas. In addition to the areas in which Mr. Rowney practices, other attorneys at CWMPK concentrate their practice in areas of civil and commercial litigation, estate planning, probate, family law (including divorce and custody issues), business operations and formation, construction and real estate. For more information call us at 281-359-0100 or contact ustoday.