Dallas Family Law Attorney for Complex Divorce and Child Custody

The Dallas County Courthouse (also known as the Old Red Courthouse and the Old Red Museum), an old landmark built in 1891.

If you reside in Dallas County and need legal representation for a family law matter, it’s critical to hire an experienced Dallas family law attorney to handle your case. While laws pertaining to divorce and child custody in Texas do not vary from county to county, how cases are handled procedurally, the propensity for litigation and the way judges expect you to act in their courtrooms can vary greatly.

Dallas County is unique in many ways, so you should hire a family lawyer in Dallas TX who knows how to navigate the complexities and personalities traditionally found in the Dallas family courts. If you live in Dallas and need an attorney with expertise in Dallas TX family law, you’ve come to the right place.

At the Sisemore Law Firm, we know how important it is to have a lawyer by your side who understands the lay of the land in the county where your case will be heard, regardless of which Texas county you live in. That’s why you can feel confident our team of Dallas family lawyers will be prepared to represent you and face down aggressive opposing counsel when needed, while keeping your case on track in the high-energy atmosphere of the Dallas County family courts.

What to expect during a divorce or child custody dispute in Dallas County

The Dallas County family courts are some of the busiest and most fast paced courts in North Texas. Procedurally, Dallas is also one of many Texas counties, like Denton County and Collin County, where standing orders are required in all divorce pleadings.

Dallas County standing orders for family court direct how matters and actions will be handled pertaining to children, pets, property and conduct of the parties involved in the case. The requirement of mandatory standing orders differs from other counties like Tarrant County, where once you file your divorce case, the parties involved will be granted a hearing in 14 days or less to establish temporary orders.

The standing orders requirement is important for a couple of reasons. For one, if you want to resolve your case as soon as possible, you should try to schedule a hearing as soon as you file. In 2023, it currently takes about 45 days to get in front of an Associate Judge for a hearing on temporary orders for a Dallas family law case due to backlogs in the courts.

Should you need to get in front of a Dallas family court judge as quickly as possible, say you have kids, family violence is going on or you have other pressing issues in your proceeding that need to be addressed, then you will have to file a temporary restraining order (TRO), along with the supporting affidavit, to get a court hearing quickly.

Unlike some counties that operate by an open call docket—where you arrive in court at a specified date and time and wait until your case is called (along with other litigants)—Dallas County will assign you a specific time slot. If you show up late, either in person or via Zoom, you and your attorney will need to make the most of the time remaining.

Following the initial hearing for a family court case in Dallas County, we typically find cases tend to move along faster than some other North Texas counties (unless the case is acrimonious and the parties can’t come to an agreement). That’s not to say your case will be resolved overnight, it simply means you might be able to finalize your Dallas family law case more quickly, compared to some other counties in the Metroplex.

On the other hand, if you let your divorce, child custody or other family law case languish, don’t be surprised if your case gets put up for dismissal in Dallas. While dismissal hearings tend to be rare in most other counties, that isn’t the case in Dallas. Dallas County will send out notices more frequently than other courts if your case is just sitting stale. For example, if you don’t have a pretrial order in place and keep delaying going to court to update the status of your case, you will receive dismissal notices, and if you don’t take action, the court will eventually dismiss your case.

Dallas family law judges run their courtrooms by the book

Dallas family court judges presiding in the Frank Crowley Courts Building only preside over family law cases, which means family law is considered their area of expertise. As a participant in a Dallas family law case, you can expect both Associate and District Court Judges to run a tight, professional courtroom in adherence with Texas law. They won’t tolerate nonsense, so parties who act out in court or make false accusations should think twice about getting out of line. 

Our lawyers who practice family law in Dallas also find that Dallas family court judges won’t hesitate to order a party to pay an opposing party’s legal fees—which can run high in Dallas County. This is especially true when a judge believes a party is wasting the court’s time and the other party’s time (and money) by bringing frivolous or unwarranted lawsuits to family court.

Unlike most other counties we practice in, our family lawyers in Dallas also find some Dallas judges are more open to listening to younger children’s opinions. Whereas courts in most North Texas counties usually won’t interview kids that are 5, 6, 7 or 8 years old, we find Dallas County courts tend to do so more often.

In addition, while other North Texas counties tend to be more conservative, the courts in Dallas County tend to be more liberal. District Court Judges are elected by the public, which at present has placed all liberal judges on the bench of the Dallas County family courts. If a judge’s political party matters to you, this may be something to consider. However, we find Dallas County judges to be fair and resolute in following the law.

If your Dallas family law case involves high-net-worth property issues, mediation may be best

Traditionally, the general tenor of the legal community and the law in Dallas tends to be much more litigious. This is also true of many of the family law firms that practice in Dallas County. At the same time, going to trial is almost always more expensive than settling out of court, especially in Dallas County. Consequently, mediation can be a good option for high-net-worth parties going through a divorce when complex property and other legal issues are involved.

Dallas County also has some of the most experienced and knowledgeable mediators in North Texas, so you are likely to be in good hands during a complex divorce mediation in Dallas. Dallas mediators understand what it takes to break down a complicated case and when to call on tracing and other financial experts to weigh in on complex issues.

If you’re a high-net-worth individual who can’t resolve your case through mediation, you need a family lawyer Dallas Texas with experience handling cases of a highly litigious nature. Not only do the Sisemore Law Firm’s Dallas family lawyers have extensive experience handling intense litigation, we have also worked extensively on civil litigation cases. This civil litigation experience can play a critical role in resolving complex and acrimonious divorce cases.

We know the ins and outs of Dallas County family courts

While the Sisemore Law Firm may be based in Fort Worth, we regularly handle divorce, child custody and other family law matters in Dallas. If you’re searching for an experienced family lawyer Dallas, we’ve got you covered. In fact, our family lawyers in Dallas frequently represent clients from Dallas County. 

After spending years and handling thousands of cases in Dallas County, our attorneys who work primarily on Dallas family law cases know what to expect in the Dallas County family courts. From procedures and personalities to intense litigation and complex mediation, we’ve helped thousands of clients successfully navigate what is often one of the most difficult times in their lives in Dallas County.

If you’d like to speak with a family law attorney Dallas, we invite you to schedule a confidential case review with our team. To take the next step, you can call the Sisemore Law Firm at (817) 336-4444 or connect with us online.