Hello, everyone. Thank you so much for joining us today on, “This needs to be said” our friend, Attorney Engel is going to come and talk with us about some things, not all things, family law, because we only have a few minutes together. Welcome to this needs to be said Attorney Engel. How are you today? I’m doing great! Thanks for having me. Now, when I talk with attorneys on the show, my whole goal is to get people comfortable with the resources that are available for them. So talk, tell them this needs to be said audience a little bit about Attorney Engel and why family law is the direction you took?
Well, I’ve been practicing family law since, 2004. So I think 17 years now, I got started with this because, when I was a child, my, I went through as a child, a very acrimonious custody battle. And it was back in a time in the 1980s when it was pretty much universal that, that women would get custody no matter what, but that’s what happened to me and my, my, my mother, she had some issues and, needless to say she still got custody, but, my dad kept fighting and he, didn’t give up. And over the course of a few years, he finally got custody and I’m very grateful for that.
You know, it’s ironic that this is your story, because my question for you today, I was like, I wonder if he’s going to have a space for me to ask this question. Do you feel like the courts still favor mothers over fathers?
I think it depends on the judge, but, it’s nothing like, it used to be nothing like it was in the eighties and the seventies and yeah, back then, it was just, it just didn’t matter what you had to say. Short of somebody committing a major crime that they just weren’t really interested, and hearing anything, but the mother getting custody, but now they’re, the judges are much more open to it and they see it a whole lot more. So I think it’s a lot different than it used to be.
I think that makes you happy. I like that too. I don’t like it to be one sided. I like it to be the best suitable parent or the best opportunity for the child but I’m also not a lawyer or in the court system, but on the outside of the viewer, I’m always anchored when it seems like y’all could see this child did not need to go to that home. You know so you getting involved over the past 17 years have you been able to, I guess in essence, so the younger version of you and different families to get placed Yes,
It’s a lot of clients, a lot of fathers, but also a lot of mothers, obtain custody of their children and some in very difficult situations. I remember one case in particular where, I represented a father in Washington state and over the course of a couple of years, we had to fight for custody and, and the first go around, we didn’t win it, but we kept fighting and then we eventually got custody and, he got his daughter. So that was that.
So I, and I know that we’re talking about family matters, but the emotions come in there and these are humans, you’re human, they’re human. What are some of the things that your clients are surprised to experience with you when they come to help to reset their families, to, to do the new normal with their families through divorce or, any other family issues that you have with,
And that’s a, well, that’s a great question. So there’s, there’s a lot of things that people are not prepared for about the process. And one of them is, is the, the inherent nature of the adversarial system. So it’s, it’s, you’re throwing, a family into an adversarial system in which the goal is to beat the other side. And so I think a lot of people, when they go through this process, they, they underestimate the value of being prepared to be able to be out of a cereal. But at the same time, not be adversarial because you know, these people are gonna have relationships after the attorneys come and gone and you don’t want to destroy it. You don’t want to destroy their relationship so much during the course of the divorce that they won’t have any contact with each other ever again. So that’s one area where I think people are not okay.
I wouldn’t have thought of that. I would be in the throw of you get him and you, you know, make me win. You know so I wouldn’t even be thinking about the consequences of later when you’re not there. And Hey, we still got to deal with each other, you know, he was helping us get through this part, you know, so that I would not be prepared for that without help.
Yep. That’s one area. Yeah.
What do you recommend for people I mean, of course, contact you and talk about their specific situation, because this is general information, not specific to one person, but other than con contacting you for a console, how does the person even prepare for this cause you don’t get married to split your family up.
That’s a great point. One thing they can, people can do to get ready. If this is something they’re thinking about doing is they need to gather all the financial documentation that they have. Sometimes people hide bank accounts and the spouse has never going to have better access to those bank accounts than when they’re living with the person. So I get it getting a copy and getting a copy of all their bank records, getting a copy of their credit report. Let’s see instances where spouses will open up credit cards and the other spouse’s name after they separate. So that way they have it, they get a credit report before they start the process. Then they have a timestamp of where they’re at when the process is. So if something happens afterwards, they, they can say definitively, well, this wasn’t me. Right! Right.
Well, I know we are beginning our conversations with you on family matters. if someone is thinking about getting a divorce or separation or there’s, a custody struggle that they’re in, and if there’s something I’m not mentioning, because I, I’m not the expert on what people can come to you for, please add that when you let people know how to get in touch with you outside of this needs to be said. Okay.
Would you let them know what website to reach you at or your preferred method of contact?
So email phone, any, any sort of contact is, is fine. I, you can reach me at (214) 915-2205. My website is Engel law group.com. That’s E N G E L L A W G R O U P.com. And, my email address is just Eric with a C and the @ symbol, then Engel law group.com.
Now, before we go, I have one more question for you because I’m just intrigued with what got you started and continuing in the law practice and helping so many families. What has been one of the stories that made, you know, okay. Yeah, this is why I’m doing this. I know you may have many, but do you have one that comes to mind?
There was a, yes, there’s a case. It was back in 2000 and, 2013 or 2014 at the time I was still practicing in Washington State. And I had, I represented the father and, and, it was a post- divorce situation. And so he was allowing his daughter to go visit the mother. And so the mother, once his daughter got down to Abilene, Texas, she decided that her daughter wasn’t going back and tried to enroll her in school in, down there in Abilene. And so a custody fight ensued. And so I ended up representing the father in Texas. This is flying from Washington state through, down from Seattle, Dallas, then from Dallas to Abilene and, appeared in front of the judge and, and managed to get the court, to order the mother, to bring the child to the hearing so that the father could get custody back. And it was, was quite, quite a case. So,
And that felt really good. That was a great, great moment here. I want us to talk about more of those moments, because there are people that are going to be listening to us that don’t know what they’re going to do. Their next family decision, they may feel overwhelmed. How do we solve these issues And they are tough alone. There’s lots of emotions, lots of unknowns, because we don’t know we didn’t plan for this, right So our friend Attorney Eric Engel is going to come back and share some more conversation with us to help us know that he’s a friend and he’s someone that can help you in a tough patch when you need to straighten out things with your family. Thank you, attorney Ingo for being a part of this needs to be set until next time, have a super day. Okay. All right! Thanks for your time. Appreciate it.