Answering All of Your Legal Questions
Creating Wills in the Greater Houston, Texas, Area
Preparing for the Future
C. Eric Schmidt and his team at C. E. Schmidt & Associates, PLLC, have over 100 years of combined experience in family law. That means that we have handled many, many divorce and family law cases over the past 38 plus years. Our divorce attorney services help you find the solutions you need for you and your family. We’re located in Houston, TX, and we service the surrounding area.
Find the Right Divorce
There are three primary types of divorce proceedings: flat fee uncontested, contested, and collaborative. Your divorce lawyer will advise you on which to pursue.
The flat fee uncontested divorce is, in most cases, the least expensive and least painful. In this circumstance, you and your spouse have negotiated an agreement with respect to property and children, and the divorce attorney helps you through the legal process by handling all matters related to the court proceeding and drafting and filing of all documents.
You both decide the terms of your agreement, a Waiver of Service is signed by the party who does not hire the attorney, and Agreed Final Decree of Divorce document is drafted.
A Final Decree of Divorce document is complex and is typically 20 to 25 pages long, at a minimum. Typically, Decrees in which there are complicated property issues and child visitation schedules range anywhere from 40 to 65 (or more) pages in length. The document must be one that is enforceable and in compliance with all the statutes of the Texas Family Code.
We are often hired after a judge has refused to sign an improperly drafted Divorce Decree — this delays the proceeding and adds additional expense and time to an already difficult circumstance.
Note this about Waivers of Service. Not all firms draft Waivers of Service in the manner in which our firm does. A Waiver of Service can be an intimidating and frightening document that causes a spouse to hire an attorney in the first place, thereby creating a complex, lengthy, and contested case.
We do things differently and in a manner that typically does not intimidate or frighten your spouse. Both State of Texas and Federal Law require that a spouse receive a formal notice that they have been sued. Yes, an action for divorce is a lawsuit.
In order to avoid the necessity of a sheriff or a private process server formally presenting paperwork to your spouse (an intimidating event for most people), your spouse can waive this exercise. The Waiver of Service accomplishes just that while informing the court that the formal service process is not required under this set of circumstances.
Contact our office to learn more about the differences that exist with respect to the manner in which Waivers of Service are drafted.
You’ll need a contested divorce lawyer from C. Eric Schmidt & Associates, PLLC, if your spouse hires an attorney, refuses to sign a Waiver of Service, refuses to give you financial support and you can’t support yourself, or if any complications surrounding property issues or child custody and visitation arise.
Our lawyers will guide you through the process so that you and your child have the best chance of getting what you want or need.
Collaborative Divorce Alternative
Collaborative divorce is for those who want to try alternatives to traditional divorce proceedings. In a collaborative proceeding, the parties sign a collaborative family law participation agreement. Each party must be represented by a lawyer to participate in a collaborative family law process.
Contrary to popular notion, there are two attorneys involved in the case.
If the process breaks down, the collaborative lawyers must immediately withdraw and new attorneys are hired in order to resolve the proceeding. Potentially, this means that each party pays for two different lawyers to achieve the final outcome.
When one considers the real possibility that four lawyers (two different lawyers per spouse) and four fees may be required, the viability of this route needs to be carefully and thoughtfully weighed.
Please contact our office for your free consultation at 281.550.6650 knowing that you can trust that our team will be there to assist you from the beginning and throughout the process with knowledge and experience. We’ll help you through this stressful time so that you can focus on what matters. Call C. Eric Schmidt and team for representation today at 281.550.6650.