When representing a person going through a divorce, sometimes you have to be the bearer of bad news and sometimes you have to give your client a reality check. I tell all my clients at the beginning of their case the following;
“You are the Captain of this ship. My role here is to advise you of the law in Texas, my experience in certain situations and what the likely outcome would be if there were to be a hearing. However, you are going to be making all the big decisions as it pertains to your case.”
I have clients ask for things in their divorce that are outside what the law provides. A perfect example is a parent who pays child support to the other parent wanting the yearly tax deduction for the child. This issue is governed by Federal law and states that the person receiving child support is the person entitled to claim the deduction for the child on their yearly tax return. Because this is governed by Federal law, no state Judge can order a person paying child support to be awarded the right to claim the child on their taxes. The only way a parent paying child support will get to claim the child on their taxes is if the other side agrees to it. It is my job to advise my client of this law as well as maintain his/her expectations on the issue.
Maintaining a client’s expectations is essential to a successful divorce. A divorce attorney is there to educate and help facilitate a settlement that is fair to their own client. This process can be challenging yet necessary.