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Attorney-Client Relationship in Family Law Cases

Family law cases are a specific type of civil cases, revolving around issues concerning spouses, parents or children. 

In some family law cases, there is no need for a lawyer, such as in an uncontested divorce case when one party decides to represent his or herself in court. There are people, however, who choose to hire a lawyer because it is more convenient to depend on his or her legal services. 

Attorney-Client Relationship in General: How is It Established?

The latter instance gives rise to a legalese called the Attorney-Client relationship. This type of relationship is not exclusive solely to family law cases, because the moment a person enters into a contract with an attorney to avail his or her legal services, the attorney-client relationship is formed.

Attorney-Client Privilege in Family Law Cases

In the state of Texas, the attorney-client relationship comes with the attorney-client privilege. The purpose of which is to encourage free discussion between the two so that the lawyer may be able to render proper advice to the client seeking his or her professional help, and take proper legal actions which the issue posed by the client requires. 

This means that confidential information is protected, and all exchanges between the two parties are subjected to nondisclosure to third parties, unless the client chooses or risks such right to be waived. 

Marriage and Divorce

This relationship protects confidential information gathered by the lawyer during client representation in divorce or marriage-related cases, as well as the materials and documents gathered which the law requires to be submitted, and the thoughts and conversations communicated during their discussion of the case. Unless otherwise called for by the facts or the laws, the client and lawyer maintain the nondisclosure to third parties of shared information. 

Division of Property

Similarly, the privilege protects confidential information shared by the client to his lawyer, as well as the exchange of materials and documents gathered in preparation to that which the law on division of property requires. Unless an exception falls to the facts presented, the client and lawyer maintain the nondisclosure to third parties of shared information.

Child Custody and Adoption

Child custody cases may arise from marriage-related cases, such as when the parents of the child decide to end their marriage either through divorce, annulment, or declaration of a void marriage. Adoption is under the umbrella of family law as well. Both of which is rooted on the welfare of the subject-child. Whenever person avails the services of a lawyer, he or she is protected by the privilege discussed above, unless otherwise waived. 

Other Family Law Cases 

There are other family law cases which the laws in Texas cover. All, including those mentioned above, once bound with the attorney-client relationship, also create the attorney-client privilege.

Termination of Attorney-Client Relationship

Generally, the client has the freedom to terminate the services of the lawyer, with or without a cause, but such client is subject to any obligation to compensate the lawyer for his or her services. Upon the termination of representation, the lawyer must take steps reasonably practicable to protect the client’s interest. 

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Mr. Hutton is a Divorce and Custody Lawyer based out of Round Rock, TX. His background is with child psychology at Arizona State University where he received a B.S. in 2006, and he continued this by working with the Children’s Right’s Clinic at the University of Texas School of Law where he received his J.D. in 2009. Throughout his practice, he has been a strong proponent of utilizing modern technology to improve his practice and the representation of his clients. He currently is the technology chair of CAFA of Travis County and is committed to improving and modernizing the practice of law in Texas. If you have any questions you can contact him at

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