Texas Appellate Case Demonstrates Importance of Representation in a Divorce

Going through a Texas divorce is a difficult process. Going through a divorce alone, however, without a qualified family law attorney to represent you, can feel insurmountable.

A recent court opinion demonstrates this principle in action. The opinion is an appeal from a divorce decree, a document that makes a divorce legally effective and explains how a couple’s assets and debts will be divided. From the time of filing for divorce, it took this couple five years to obtain the court order that made the divorce legally effective. That meant five years of court filings, appearances, and notices, as well as five years of untold personal anguish for the husband and wife.

Still, the troubles did not end there. The husband, who was not represented by a lawyer at the time the divorce decree was signed, made an appeal. The husband urged the court to put aside the divorce decree, which weighed heavily in favor of the wife. His argument for setting aside the decree was that he did not know about the final hearing, that there was insufficient evidence put forth at that hearing, and that there were obvious errors in the decree that could not stand.

The court looked at each of the husband’s arguments separately.

As to the husband’s claim that he did not know about the hearing, the court basically said that he had legally adequate notice. Specifically, the record showed that the court had sent information about the final hearing to an address it had on file for the husband. It was the husband’s duty to update the court about any changes in address. Perhaps because the husband was not represented at the time of the final hearing, he did not know about this simple rule that could have saved him from being subject to a divorce decree he had little to do with.

The husband had better luck with his second argument. Through his counsel, he was able to show that the court that wrote the divorce decree failed to consider hard evidence in deciding how to divide the couple’s assets fairly. Instead, the court seemed to take the wife for her word, dividing the couple’s shared assets according to her preferences. The husband’s attorney was able to demonstrate this matter plainly to the court, which said that the decision about how to divide shared assets should be reconsidered.

Unfortunately for the husband, the court found that his third argument was not adequately supported. Specifically, the court said that the husband, through his counsel, failed to support his argument that the divorce decree contained obvious errors with any relevant law. Because the husband failed to provide a legal basis to support his argument, even if the court agreed with him, it could not side with him on the issue.

What transpired in this Texas divorce case is an important reminder that hiring and maintaining a competent family law attorney is essential to making it through a divorce. Failing to obtain a divorce lawyer could cost you precious time, money, and heartache during what is already an extraordinarily difficult season of life.

Call a Texas Family Law Attorney Today

If you or a loved one is going through a divorce, do not go it alone. Let the Guest and Gray Law Firm take the weight off your shoulders from start to finish by building an effective case for your position and managing the mountains of paperwork that accompany the divorce process. At the Guest and Gray Law Firm, our Texas family law attorneys have decades of experience supporting both husbands and wives through the extraordinarily difficult process of divorce. In addition to helping people just like you through divorce proceedings, we also provide advice and representation for custody and support cases, meaning that we can offer a full spectrum of services to get you to the next phase of your life. For a free and confidential consultation with one of our attorneys, call 972-564-4644 today.


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