Find Lawyers in Houston, Texas for Family Law
Practice Area Overview
Family law is the broad practice area dedicated to marriage, divorce, child custody, adoption, domestic violence, reproductive rights and many other matters regarding familial relationships. The most common family law issue involves divorce, which includes all the related concerns that arise from it, such as the division of marital property, child custody, support and alimony.
While many family law attorneys eventually develop a specialty, such as adoption law or domestic partnership law, many practicing attorneys usually hold experience in more than one area. Additionally, family law attorneys can draft and negotiate contracts, pleadings and other legal documents, all while possessing the interpersonal skills to adapt to and manage each case's unique, emotional history.
The following subspecialities are a sampling of the types of legal issues that family law lawyers will address:
- Child Custody
- Marital Settlement Agreements
- Family Businesses
- Prenuptial Agreements
- Domestic Relations
- Child Support
- Family Based
- Family Law Mediation
- Partnership Disputes
- Child Abuse
- Family Law Appeals
- Juvenile Matters
- Collaborative Family Law
Family lawyers interact with many aspects of marriage and the marriage relationship. The legal definition of marriage varies from state to state, but generally it is a contract between two people that is recognized by the state and gives both parties certain legal rights and responsibilities. Some of the key rights and responsibilities that come with marriage include property rights, inheritance rights and the responsibility to support one another financially.
Prenuptial arrangements, or the arrangements that are made before a marriage regarding the topic of a future separation, are handled by family attorneys. These agreements are legally binding contracts.
Another major area of family law is divorce. Divorce is the legal process of ending a marriage, and it can be a complicated and emotionally difficult process for all parties involved. For a divorce to occur, one of the parties must file a petition with the court, and the court will then decide on issues such as property division, alimony, and child custody.
Child Custody and Support
Child custody and support is another important aspect of family law. When parents divorce, the court will often make a determination as to which parent will have primary physical custody of the children, as well as how much financial child support will be required from the parent without custody. Child custody and support issues can also arise in situations where the parents were never married.
Adoption is another important area of family law. Adoption is the legal process of becoming a parent to a child who is not biologically related to you. The laws surrounding adoption vary from state to state, but generally, adopting parents must meet certain qualifications and go through a rigorous process before the adoption is finalized.
Family law also encompasses issues related to domestic violence. Domestic violence refers to any type of abuse that occurs within a domestic relationship, including physical, emotional and sexual abuse. Individuals who are victims of domestic violence can seek legal protection through restraining orders and other legal remedies.
Hiring a Lawyer: Best Lawyers in America for Family Law
The Best Lawyers’ family lawyer directory has an extensive list of experienced family law attorneys who work with marriage, divorce, adoption, and all other specialties within family court.
When searching for a family attorney, it is important to consider the following factors:
- Experience and Specialization: While some of the best family lawyers will have experience representing clients in a variety of legal issues, not all attorneys have the same level of expertise or experience in the field of family law. It is important to find an attorney who specializes in this area of law and has a proven track record of success in handling similar cases.
- Communication: A good attorney should be able to clearly explain the legal process and your options to you and be responsive to your questions and concerns.
- Availability: Family law matters can be time-sensitive, and it is important to find an attorney who is available and responsive to your needs.
- Professionalism and Ethics: Look for an attorney who is a member of a professional organization, such as the state bar association, and who adheres to a strict code of ethics.
- Cost: It is also important to consider the cost of hiring an attorney. Make sure to ask about the attorney's fee structure and any additional expenses you may incur. There will generally not be a lawyer cost for initial consultations, but not all law firms have the same structure.
Michael Childs is a graduate of Texas A&M University, where he received a Bachelor of Science in Journalism. He received his Juris Doctorate from South Texas College of Law, with a focus on civil litigation. Mr. Childs first came to the firm in 1996 as a law clerk and became an associate in November 1996. He has over fourteen years of extensive experience with complex family matters. As a litigator, his representation has included divorce, disputed property valuations and divisions of pro...
Laura Dale is Board Certified in Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Her practice is concentrated in the area of family law involving high conflict divorce, high net worth property division, both domestic and foreign, property valuation, custody cases, international child abduction brought under The Hague Convention and complex multi-jurisdictional family law disputes. Ms. Dale is a Fellow of the International Academy of Family Lawyers and a USA Delegate on the Board of Gov...
For more than three decades, Cindy Diggs has worked with Texans to resolve complex family law disputes. The attorney-in-charge at our Houston office, Cindy utilizes a client-first approach, developing comprehensive case strategies that help clients smoothly navigate cases. Cindy tailors her approach on a case-by-case basis. Whether you need an attorney to help you pursue an amicable outcome for your divorce or fiercely advocate for your rights during a property division case or custody battle...
EDUCATION: B.S. 1988 The University of Texas at Austin J.D. 1992 South Texas College of Law PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES: Board Certified in Family Law - December 1999 - present Member - State Bar of Texas Family Law Council – 2012 to 2017 Chair – Technology Committee 2013 to 2015 Director - State Bar of Texas Marriage Dissolution Institute, 2013, Galveston, Texas Director - State Bar of Texas Pro Bono Family Law Program, September 2013, San Marcos Texas Member - Houston Bar Associatio...
Susan McLerran’s practice encompasses a broad array of family law matters, with a focus on complex divorce proceedings involving marital property characterization, valuation and division, business valuation, taxation, issues related to retirement assets, stock options, restricted stock and employee benefits, and conservatorship, visitation and child support matters, pre-marital and post-marital agreements, and suits regarding modification and enforcement of court orders. Susan’s e...
Certified Family Law Specialist, certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, Susan Myres has over 35 years of experience practicing family law in Harris County and the Greater Houston area. Susan works closely with all of her clients to develop a legal strategy that best fits her client's goals and needs. Her background in business studies allows her to work through complex issues involving the characterization and valuation of a business, closely-held business interests, characteri...
Houston divorce attorney John “Bo” Nichols has been practicing family law for more than twenty years. A native of Houston, Nichols is a regular selectee to the Best Lawyers in America list, holding that honor since 2009. Additionally, Nichols has been a Texas Super Lawyer honoree for more than ten years. Devoted to the practice of family law, including divorce, child custody and property division, Nichols is regarded as one of the foremost trial specialists by his peers. Nichols h...
J. Lindsey Short Jr. Houston, Texas Partner phone 713-626-0208 fax 713-759-9650 email Email Me For over 55 years, J. Lindsey Short, Jr. has devoted his considerable legal talents and skills to the practice of family law. A native Houstonian, Lindsey graduated from St. Johns School and received his Bachelor of Arts from Washington & Lee University. He earned his Doctorate of Jurisprudence from the University of Texas School of Law and was admitted to the State Bar of Texas in 1967. Lindsey...
Diane St. Yves Brewer is a board-certified family lawyer with over 30 years of practice experience. Prior to obtaining her license to practice law in 2007, she was a board-certified family law paralegal for 20+ years. Diane was admitted to AAML in the Fall of 2019. Diane is a United States Army Veteran who served for four years in the Military Intelligence Branch as a French and Russian linguist. Diane is a graduate of the University of Houston with a degree in political science and received ...
Lauren E. Waddell's practice focuses exclusively on family law issues including divorce litigation, custody issues, property division, marital agreements, international abductions, paternity actions, child support, and modification actions. Ms. Waddell is Board Certified in Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and International Academy of Family Lawyers. She is licensed to practice law in Texas and before the Sou...
A native of Houston, Jennifer Palmer Wells is an associate attorney at J. Lindsey Short, Jr. & Associates, PC, and has worked with J. Lindsey Short, Jr. for 19 years. She graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Baylor University in Waco, Texas. After graduating from Baylor, Jennifer moved back to Houston and attended South Texas College of Law where she graduated Magna Cum Laude and received her Doctor of Jurisprudence in 2006. She was admitted to the State Bar of...
Randall Wilhite has represented clients in a full range of family law matters for over 34 years, specializing in complex property disputes, stock option and restricted stock issues, retirement assets, employee benefits, taxation issues, characterization of assets as separate or community property, business valuation and division, and other valuation issues. He is experienced in the litigation, arbitration and mediation of all family law issues. Randy is also an Adjunct Professor of Law at the...
Attorney Trey Yates has served the people of Houston and surrounding southeastern Texas since 1984. In 1986, he founded his law firm, Trey Yates Law, where he has focused his practice on assisting clients who face family law challenges, particularly divorces involving complex marital property division. In 2010, he created the popular educational seminar known as The Guide to Good Divorce?. Mr. Yates earned his law degree from St. Mary's University School of Law in 1984, and the State Bar of T...
Biography His broad-based legal experience includes presiding as a municipal court judge of the City of Houston, a state district judge of both a Civil and Family District Courts, and served as assistant attorney general for the State of Texas and briefing clerk for the Honorable Judge Ingraham, Federal District Judge for the Southern District of Texas. He has extensive experience in civil trials and appeals involving complex litigation and family law cases. His mediation experience includes ...
I am a native Texan, born and raised in Dallas, Texas. I grew up in North Dallas and attended schools in Plano, Texas. After a brief stint at UT Austin, I transferred to Purdue University, where I received my B.S. in economics. I attended law school at Baylor Law School in Waco, Texas and graduated in February 2014. I passed the bar in May 2014. I started my law career in Houston, Texas at a boutique litigation defense firm. I was fortunate to first-chair a jury trial, take and defend deposit...
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