Best Advice From a Seasoned Houston Divorce Attorney
Today we talked with Erik Larson of The Larson Law Office, PLLC, in Houston, Texas about the divorce process and the process of hiring the lawyer who will be the best divorce lawyer for you in handling your specific divorce case.
When deciding on hiring a lawyer, if the attorney you select shares and supports your goals and strategies for the case, that is usually a good indicator that the divorce lawyer is the best choice for you.
Q: What are the common reasons for divorce that you handle as a Houston divorce lawyer?
There are many reasons for why couples divorce. Many times it is due to financial stressors, such as job losses, job transfers, differences in spending and savings habits between the spouses.
When children arrive, many issues that were not discussed by the couple before marriage arise and the parents realize that they have very different ideas about raising children and parenting which can often cause long-term conflict and stress the marital relationship. Sometimes it is due to issues like infidelity, domestic violence, mental cruelty, or abandonment by a spouse.
Q: As a divorce lawyer in Houston, what’s the most common mistake you see people make in divorces that you wish you could stop?
The most common mistake in divorce cases I see is that people often do not act quickly enough and early enough to protect their interests. Many times people are overwhelmed by the deteriorating marital relationship and are in denial of what they know is happening.
Taking the first step in hiring a divorce lawyer can appear to be overwhelming and even frightening, especially in turbulent emotional times, but, in my opinion, the earlier people act to get in front of the situation and to get legal advice before taking action, the better off they will typically be.
Q: What should people expect if there are children involved in a divorce?
The goal should always be to protect and insulate children from the divorce process. This means not involving the children in adult problems, not running down the other parent to the child, not asking the child to spy on the other parent during periods of possession and reporting back to that parent upon return of the child.
Child support, medical support, rights, duties, and possession and access schedules will be put in place, either by agreement by the parties, agreement in mediation, or by the court if no agreement is reached.
But what parents should keep in mind is that what damages children is not the divorce process, it is not living in separate homes, rather it is the level of interpersonal conflict between the parents particularly when the parents involve the children in that conflict.
Q: What made you want to be a divorce/custody lawyer?
Throughout my life, like many people, I witnessed close friends and family members go through the divorce process. Those experiences made a tremendous impact on me, particularly witnessing people take courageous actions to protect their children from harmful environments, and to improve their situations in life.
I also became a lawyer to help people. Being a divorce attorney gives me the ability to help people on a daily basis navigate what is probably one of the most difficult processes of their adult lives. Although divorce can often be a stressful process, this is also the beginning of a new, and often better and more productive, stage in peoples’ lives.
Q: Do you believe everyone needs a lawyer for their divorce?
The vast majority of people would benefit from having a divorce lawyer help them resolve their case. The emotional component of divorce cases make it extremely difficult for most people to navigate resolving property and children issues, and Texas law can be complex in the area of child conservatorship and property division.
Banks and other financial institutions will want to see a divorce decree in making lending decisions in the future and a divorce lawyer can help make sure that your divorce decree is in order to avoid problems dealing with banks in the future.
There can also be complicated issues regarding reimbursement of separate and community property, real estate issues and 401(k) divisions that a lawyer can significantly assist with resolving and structuring.
Q: How do you generally see divorce cases resolve?
The vast majority of divorce cases we handle are resolved through a settlement process called mediation. We are big proponents of mediation because it gets clients through the divorce process more quickly and less expensively than a traditional litigation process and trial where a judge or jury decides everything.
Mediation also allows the parties to keep control of the process rather than going to a trial where nothing is within the parties’ control. We are very picky about the mediators we pick to mediate our cases because the choice of who the mediator is can make the difference between success and failure of mediation.
Q: What advice or tips do you have for people going through a divorce?
One of the most important things to try to do is also one of the most difficult, which is to manage your own emotions. People who can step back a bit emotionally and focus more on how they want their property divided, and, if there are children, what kind of rights, duties and possession they want, rather than how their spouse has wronged them, will likely get off to a better start in the divorce process.
Q: What makes you different from other divorce lawyers in Houston?
The feedback we get is that many divorce law firms are full of junior lawyers, paralegals, secretaries and other staff that seem almost designed to keep clients away from the primary lawyer who the client has hired. That is not the case with our law firm. We do not have junior lawyers who are often assigned at other firms to “cover” a hearing, mediation or trial.
When you hire Erik Larson and Diana Larson, you will get either Erik or Diana – whether it is on the initial phone call as a potential client of our firm, in an initial meeting, on the phone, email or in person meetings throughout your case, in mediation, in hearings, or at trial. If you hire us, you will get us. Period.
Have Questions? Contact Us
Our Houston divorce attorneys are ready to answer all of your questions and provide you with the honest, straightforward advice and aggressive legal representation you may need. Free legal consultations are available. Contact us online or call us at 713-221-9088.