"I want to litigate my divorce to get sole custody and my fair share of the property. My lawyer insists it would be better to negotiate outside of court. I strongly disagree. What should I do?"
The client is entitled to make the final decision on all matters; however, the attorney is there to guide the client. If you want to go to court, you can insist upon that route, but that might not be in your best interests.
The advice to settle out of court is good advice and should be strongly considered. If you go to court, a judge -- who is a stranger to you and your family -- will make all the decisions regarding your children, your finances, and other personal aspects of your family life. While most family law judges care deeply about the decisions they make, a judge cannot understand your family's needs as much as you do. Settling out of court allows you and your spouse to fashion remedies to your problems that benefit you most.
The judge is limited by the guidelines of the law in deciding your case. You and your spouse have more room to create solutions that work for you.
If negotiation falls through, you can still resort to court and let a stranger decide your family's fate.
About the author of this Texas Divorce FAQ:
Patricia Baca is a collaborative family lawyer in Fort Worth, TX.