When we meet most of our clients, it’s usually during one of the most difficult times of their lives.
When divorce is looming, many people don’t know what to do. They feel overwhelmed. Their emotions are all over the place. They feel like their life is falling apart around them. We understand that our job is about much more than just drafting and filing paperwork, showing up in court, and talking to a judge. Our job is to help you prepare for your new life — whatever that looks like.
We’re focused on you: your needs, your unique situation, your issues — legal, financial, emotional, and otherwise.
Here’s a look into how we can help you get through this and come out the other side in the best position possible.
We’ll Stand by Your Side and Fiercely Defend Your Interests
Divorce is a profound change in your and your family’s life, and it’s never easy. You’re preparing for a new normal, so our job is to help you through that process, to be by your side the entire way.
We’ve helped hundreds of clients go through this exact process. We know what you’re going through and the potential problems you’re going to face, and we will work to help find solutions that are right for you. Our job is to lead you through the divorce process with compassion, to build a relationship with you, to walk alongside you — not just shoot you some emails from time to time telling you when to show up in court.
We stay with you until the job is done. We get to know your needs and wants in detail so that we can craft a personalized strategy designed to get you the best outcome possible. Of course, nothing is guaranteed in the legal system, but we do our very best to set you up for success. We are focused on you, but we’re also focused on your success, on winning, and though we strive to find solutions that make everyone happy and that limit your time in court, sometimes, that just isn’t possible.
Sometimes, we have to be your defender, and when we defend our clients, we do so fiercely.
If you end up in a highly contentious divorce, we stand between you and any difficulties or challenges that are thrown your way. As the divorce proceeds, we are always completely transparent about what’s happening, why it’s happening, what we can and can’t do about it, and your chances of getting the outcome you want.
Many of us have experienced the same things you’re going through. We all have kids. We understand the profound emotional and mental toll the breakup of a family takes on our clients.
Our job is to reduce the pain of that as much as possible. And we have the experience necessary to help work towards that goal. All our attorneys work under Jennifer Ilarraza, an accomplished litigator who served as counsel for a Fortune 500 company for years and has won numerous awards for her work as a family law attorney.
She’s been recognized as one of the nation’s top 40 trial attorneys under the age of 40 by the National Trial Lawyers Association, was selected as a Super Lawyer Magazine Rising Star in the field of family law (among the top 2.5% of attorneys under 40), and has won multiple awards from other organizations along the way.
Mrs. Ilarraza oversees all cases at the firm, personally ensuring each case meets her standard of excellence.
What to Expect When You Start Working with Us
When you first contact us, we have to run a conflict check because we ethically cannot even meet with you if we have already met with your opposing party. If the conflict check gets passed, we can set up your initial consultation. This gives you 1 hour with an attorney who will discuss your case in depth and help you understand where you stand and what you need to do next.
If you decide to move forward with us, you sign an agreement, pay your retainer, and then we draft a plan of action.
This might take a lot of time on your part — we have an obsession with detail at this firm, which means we might have quite a few questions for you to make sure we can create the best case possible for you. Obviously, we cannot guarantee results — no one in the legal system can — but we do everything we can to give you the best chance of getting the results you want. Your success is our priority.
Though you and your attorney navigate the case together, you still get access to the expertise and knowledge of the entire firm. Every month, we do internal case reviews, working as a team on your case to ensure we have the best strategy possible in place.
As we work, we provide you with detailed billing. You’ll see every charge line by line and will know exactly where your investment is going and how much of your retainer remains.
How We Handle The Most Frightening Parts of Divorce
Most of our clients walk into divorce with a lot of fear — that’s natural. This is a big unknown and a huge shift in your life.
Here’s how we handle those things that are most intimidating when you’re starting the divorce process.
Going to Trial
For many of our clients, the idea of going to trial sounds like a nightmare. It can be very overwhelming, but our attorneys have experience in the courtroom fighting for our clients’ rights. We know what it takes to win in court, and we’ll be at your side every step of the way.
If you need to gather evidence for your case, we’ll walk you through that process and remind you when deadlines are coming up. We’ll help you understand what discovery is, why it’s important, and what you need to do when it’s happening.
We’ll also help you understand your options when it comes to mediation, and if mediation is out of the picture or falls apart, we’ll help you understand what the trial is going to look like and how much it will cost.
We do extensive preparation for every trial, and we include you in that preparation. We’ll help you understand all the applicable laws and teach you what’s important to the court, what kind of evidence the court is going to collect, and what’s going to happen every single time you’re in that courtroom.
If you have to undergo cross-examination, we talk about what questions are likely to be asked and help you outline answers based on our experience that will help you respond in the best way possible.
We’ll do an exhaustive review before ever heading to trial, triple checking to make sure you’re in the best place possible before we walk through those doors.
Throughout the entire process, we are completely transparent and involve you in every decision. It’s your case — we never make a decision for you.
Seeing a Fundamental Shift in Finances
For most couples, divorce represents a profound shift in their monetary situation. Some spouses haven’t worked for decades. Some spouses have degrees that have gathered dust for years, that they can’t really use anymore to get a job.
Some have been breadwinners for the majority of the marriage and worry that most of their income will get swallowed up by child support and spousal maintenance.
Some are worried about having to sell property or investments they don’t want to sell just to split the value with their spouse, ultimately costing them big in terms of losses or taxes they didn’t think they’d have to pay for decades, if ever.
We’ll help you get the best deal we can, finding ways to keep you from having to split assets where possible, to reduce your potential tax consequences, and to get any spousal maintenance or child support you may need as quickly as the courts will allow.
Dealing With Child Custody Issues
All parents are terrified of the potential consequences that divorce will bring to their children. The idea that a judge will now be involved in how you raise your children is a scary one. Our job is to relieve that fear.
We’ll help you understand the process that you’re going to have to go through when it comes to determining exactly how child custody is going to work.
There are many rules and laws around child custody, so we’ll show you exactly which rules apply when (as some of them apply immediately) and tell you precisely what you need to do to abide by them and keep the courts happy.
Many courts require parenting courses, which we’ll give you the resources necessary to complete.
We’ll help you understand the laws around child custody, what you can and can’t do, and what you don’t have to do but should do. We’ll also explain what the courts view as ideal and what is and is not in the best interest of the children (in the court’s opinion). And while all this is being sorted out, we’ll help you create an effective plan for communicating with your partner and co-parenting during this time so that you don’t accidentally do something the court won’t like.
Let’s Talk About How We Can Help You Today
If divorce or child custody is looming in your life, we’re here to help. Contact us today to set up your initial consultation, or call us directly at (214) 646-3253.
Ilarraza Law is a full-service family law firm serving Lewisville, Flower Mound, Highland Village and the surrounding Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex.