Divorce for Lawyers
When a lawyer gets divorced, there are issues that arise that are not always present in other cases, such as whether the lawyer should represent themselves, how to assess the value of a law firm, and whether spousal support is owed. If you or your spouse are a lawyer and either of you is contemplating ending your marriage, it is prudent to speak with skilled legal counsel who is proficient at navigating complex cases involving substantial assets. The Dallas divorce attorneys of McClure Law Group have ample experience handling divorce cases involving lawyers and will work tirelessly to help you protect your rights.Risks of Self-Representation
Divorce cases can be unique for lawyers, in that they have the ability to act as their own attorneys. It is not wise for attorneys to represent themselves in their own divorce, however, even if they have experience handling family law matters. While lawyers advocate aggressively on behalf of their clients, they are not emotionally involved on a personal level. But if a person attempts to act as his or her own attorney, he or she may not be able to separate the emotional and legal aspects of the case, and may therefore be at a disadvantage in negotiations and accurately assessing the strengths and weaknesses of the case.Assessing the Value of a Law Firm
One of the most important issues in divorces for lawyers or others is the division of property. Under Texas law, any property that either spouse acquires during a marriage is presumed to be community property, meaning it belongs to both spouses and will be divided equitably. Therefore, if one party owns a law firm, unless it is explicitly defined as separate property, in theory, the firm may be subject to equitable distribution. There are ethical rules that prohibit the sale of a law firm, however, and most lawyers would object to the sale of their firm regardless. Thus, in most cases, the value of a law firm will be determined and divided between the spouses.
There are numerous methods that may be employed to assess the value of a law firm. For example, it could be based on the fair market value, which is what someone would be willing to pay for the firm, or the book value, which is a value based on the property and assets of a firm, or a combination of the values. A law firm’s value can also be assessed by reviewing the firm’s revenue over the last several years.
It is critical for the parties in any divorce involving a law firm to attain an accurate assessment of the firm’s value to help achieve a fair distribution of assets. A skilled divorce attorney can help you ascertain what means of determining a firm’s value is most appropriate in your case.Spousal Maintenance
Regardless of whether there is a disparity of income between spouses, spousal maintenance is rarely granted in Texas divorces, and the law explicitly delineates when it may be awarded. Specifically, it may be granted in cases in which the parties have been married for at least 10 years, and the party seeking maintenance shows a concerted effort to earn an income and to acquire the skills needed to earn an income. The duration of spousal maintenance varies depending on how long the parties were married.Speak with a Knowledgeable Divorce Lawyer in Dallas
Handling a divorce involving a lawyer requires an assertive attorney who is adept at negotiating for an equitable division of property and an accurate assessment of assets. At McClure Law Group, our Dallas attorneys are proficient in aiding our clients in pursuing an efficient and just resolution of their divorce cases. Our main office is located in Dallas, and we can meet by appointment at our second office in Plano, Collin County. We assist parties in divorces in Dallas, Fort Worth, Garland, Irving, Frisco, McKinney, Richardson, and Rockwall. We also represent individuals in family law cases in cities throughout Dallas, Tarrant, Collin, Grayson, Rockwall, and Denton Counties. We can be reached at 214.692.8200 or through our form online to schedule a consultation regarding your case.