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Divorce Lawyer in Austin

Divorce is probably one the most traumatic events you and your family might ever go through. The best divorce attorneys in Austin will work to make this otherwise painful experience go as smoothly as possible so you can get on with your life. Whether you are seeking a collaborative divorce lawyer, a lawyer to assist you in mediation, or a traditional litigated divorce lawyer, Sue Berkel will bring over 30 years of family law experience to aggressively fight for your interests. The following graphics illustrate the role of a divorce lawyer in three different types of divorces.

Collaborative divorce

Collaborative Divorce

In a collaborative divorce, each spouse and their respective divorce lawyers negotiate with each other, without a neutral mediator or judge.

Divorce mediation

Divorce Mediation

Divorce mediation involves a neutral mediator, who is usually also an attorney. Each party has the option to retain their own lawyer who is permitted to offer legal advice.

Litigated divorce

Litigated Divorce

A litigated divorce is one that is brought to trial in a courtroom. Each party's divorce attorney typically speaks for them in front of a judge.

In a collaborative divorce and in divorce mediation, both spouses must agree on all issues for the divorce to be finalized. In a litigated divorce, a judge ultimately imposes the terms of the divorce on both spouses. Moreover, divorce lawyers typically speak for their clients in a litigated divorce whereas they play a more advisory role in collaborative law and mediation.

As a former judge, Sue Berkel has over 30 years of experience with family law cases in Austin. Call today for a free consultation on your divorce.

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Common Questions about Divorce in Austin

The Role of a Divorce Attorney

Assuming there are still issues to be settled in your divorce, the role a divorce attorney will play depends on the method of dispute resolution employed. There are two main options for settling issues outside of court: collaborative law and divorce mediation. If these efforts fail, litigation before a judge is typically the only remaining option for obtaining a divorce. The following table compares these three methods and describes the role played by Texas divorce lawyers in each.

Collaborative LawMediationLitigation
Illustration Collaborative divorce Divorce mediation Litigated divorce
Description Each party hires a divorce attorney and negotiates directly with the other party Each party has the option to hire a divorce attorney and negotiates with the other party under the guidance of a neutral mediator Each party hires a divorce attorney who advocates their side before a judge who ultimately decides how the divorce will be settled
Cost Attorney fees for each party plus fees for additional experts which can be shared by both parties Attorney fees (if attorneys are hired) plus fees for the mediator and additional experts which can be shared by both parties Attorney fees for each party plus fees for additional experts which cannot be shared by both parties—most expensive option
Speed Fast Fastest Slow
Schedule Flexible Flexible Rigid
Privacy Private Private Not private
Tone Most cooperative Somewhat cooperative Adversarial
Experts Typically shared Typically shared Typically not shared
Good For Parties who want to make their own decisions in the presence of an attorney Parties who want to make their own decisions with the option to consult with an attorney Parties who want their lawyers to advocate for them, parties with a history of abuse or bad faith

If you and your spouse have already agreed on the terms of your divorce, including property division and custody of children, an Austin divorce attorney can make the process quick and easy for your family. We can prepare and file the necessary documents for you so you don't have to spend your own time learning the system. Contact us today if you need an uncontested divorce lawyer in Austin.

Sue Berkel's Experience as an Austin Divorce Lawyer

Sue Berkel has been practicing family law in and around the Austin, Texas area for over 25 years and has a wealth of family law experience. She has resided in Austin since 1976 and graduated with honors from the University of Texas in 1980. Sue obtained her law degree from the University of Texas Law School in 1983 and has been licensed to practice in:

As an Assistant Attorney General for the Texas Attorney General's Office, Sue Berkel handled cases involving CPS in which abuse or neglect was alleged. While at the Attorney General's Office, which is the chief legal and law enforcement body for the state of Texas, Ms. Berkel handled hundreds of cases in both state and federal court and maintained an over 90% win record. Ms. Berkel also served as a judge at the Texas State Office of Administrative Hearings, rising to the rank of Senior Administrative Law Judge, the highest designation offered for this position.

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While in private practice, the Law Offices of Sue Berkel has handled a variety of diverse family law issues, including divorce, custody, adoption, grandparent rights, termination of parental rights and modifications of child support, custody, or possession. She's helped draft and modify a great deal of legally-binding agreements, such as prenuptial and postnuptial agreements and private wills. She has experience with probate and the general administration of a deceased person's estate and property. Sue Berkel has the expertise to offer representation highly customized to your particular situation. Call us today to see how a top divorce lawyer in Austin can help you.

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