DeSoto, TX asked in Divorce and Family Law for Texas

Q: Simple, uncontested divorce. Do I need a lawyer?

We've been married 20 years, our children are adults, the mortgage is in both names but he's agreed to let me stay in the home, we both have retirement accounts (low value) and we've agreed not to touch each other's. I've called a few attorney's who are asking for a $5-$25k retainer and he doesn't even have that much in his retirement account. Will this be a difficult case to file on my own? What tips can you give me?

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1 Lawyer Answer
John Michael Frick
John Michael Frick
  • Frisco, TX
  • Licensed in Texas

A: A $5,000 initial retainer is extremely reasonable.

The problem with trying to do your own divorce is you don’t know to ask or research how to do something if you don’t know you need to do it.

You have a home and mortgage, so you will need a Special Warranty Deed and Deed of Trust to Secure Assumption.

You likely own motor vehicles. You’ll likely need a Power of Attorney.

You may have joint debts like credit cards.

You will need information to make some decisions about how to file your federal tax returns in the year of your divorce and what to do with any refund.

Have you thought about PODs on your bank accounts? Beneficiaries on any life insurance? Continuation of health insurance coverage?

There are dozens of issues which commonly arise as a result of a divorce. A competent divorce attorney will go through each of them with you. Maybe you and your spouse will reach an agreement on all of them. Maybe not. But if you don’t think of it and address it, it may come back to bite you.

You aren’t just paying an attorney to prepare paperwork. You are paying for their knowledge, advice, and expertise to figure out what you need and what the best choice is for you out of your possible options.

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