January-The-Divorce-Month1January is the month for examination of our lives to find areas for improvement. Some join a gym; others focus on weight loss or financial budgeting. But yet others contemplate a more major life change in January – divorce. January to March has become known as the “Divorce Season” with the highest incidence of couples filing for divorce.

According to a study conducted by FindLaw.com and reported in Divorce Magazine, between 2008 and 2011 divorce filings spiked in January, continued to rise through February, then peaked in late March. The first three months of the year are looked upon as the time to start a divorce action.

So where does one start when reaching the decision to start a divorce? Most people start searching for a lawyer by asking friends for advice and searching the internet, but here are six topics to consider:

1. Identify the potential need for a divorce attorney early.

2. Reach out to trusted resources for referrals.

3. Hire an attorney certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in family law.

4. Ask questions of the attorney at the initial consultation.

5. Take inventory after the meeting regarding your feelings regarding the lawyer interviewed.

6. Trust your gut – if it doesn’t not seem right, it probably isn’t.

Read more: How to choose the right Dallas divorce lawyer

Read more: What to ask an attorney during your first interview

 

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Photo of Michelle O'Neil Michelle O'Neil

Michelle May O’Neil has 27 years’ experience representing small business owners, professionals, and individuals in litigation related to family law matters such as divorce, child custody, and complex property division. Described by one lawyer as “a lethal combination of sweet-and-salty”, Ms. O’Neil exudes…

Michelle May O’Neil has 27 years’ experience representing small business owners, professionals, and individuals in litigation related to family law matters such as divorce, child custody, and complex property division. Described by one lawyer as “a lethal combination of sweet-and-salty”, Ms. O’Neil exudes genuine compassion for her client’s difficulties, yet she can be relentless when in pursuit of a client’s goals. One judge said of Ms. O’Neil, “She cannot be out-gunned, out-briefed, or out-lawyered!”

Family Law Specialist

Ms. O’Neil became a board-certified family law specialist by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in 1997 and has maintained her certification since that time. While representing clients in litigation before the trial court is an important part of her practice, Ms. O’Neil also handles appellate matters in the trial court, courts of appeals and Texas Supreme Court. Lawyers frequently consult with Ms. O’Neil on their litigation cases about specialized legal issues requiring particularized attention both at the trial court and appellate levels. This gives her a unique perspective and depth of perception that benefits both her litigation and appellate clients.

Top Lawyers in Texas and America

Ms. O’Neil has been named to the list of Texas SuperLawyers for many years, 2011-2018, a peer-voted honor given to only about 5% of the lawyers in the state of Texas. In 2014-2018, Ms. O’Neil received the special honor of being named by Texas SuperLawyers as one of the Top 50 Women Lawyers in Texas, Top 100 Lawyers in Texas, and Top 100 Lawyers in DFW. She was named one of the Best Lawyers in America for 2016 and received an “A-V” peer review rating by Martindale-Hubbell Legal Directories for the highest quality legal ability and ethical standards.

Author and Speaker

A noted author, Ms. O’Neil released her second book Basics of Texas Divorce Law in November 2010, with a second edition released in 2013, and a third edition expected in 2015.  Her first book, All About Texas Law and Kids, was published in September 2009 by Texas Lawyer Press. In 2012, Ms. O’Neil co-authored the booklets What You Need To Know About Common Law Marriage In Texas and Social Study Evaluations.  The State Bar of Texas and other providers of continuing education for attorneys frequently enlist Ms. O’Neil to provide instruction to attorneys on topics of her expertise in the family law arena.