Jeffrey Owen Anderson has spent his entire legal career working with family law cases, dealing with divorce and child custody cases. “I help people out in their darkest hour,” he says. “And, most importantly, I help children. I’ve been through divorce myself, and I have children, so that experience gave me a valuable perspective. It made me even more committed to helping kids and making sure their well-being is a priority.”
Some would say Jeff Anderson started his career at the age of five, when he started following his father who was a family law attorney (for over 50 years) around the courthouse. He worked in his Family law office through high school and served process in college. Now Jeff has been practicing family law for over 29 years. With offices in Dallas and Frisco, TX.
He joined Orsinger, Nelson, Downing and Anderson in January 2012 after seventeen years of running his own firm. He is Board Certified in Family Law, by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, and served on the Texas Family Law Counsel for six years.
Jeff has been recognized by Best Lawyers in America for Family Law (2009-2023), in D Magazine as one of Dallas’ Best Lawyers (2002, 2004, 2006-2009, 2011-2012, 2016-2023), D Magazine Hall of Fame (2023), and earned recognition to Texas Super Lawyers by Thomson Reuters every year since its inception (2003-2023), including being named among the top 100 Super Lawyers in Texas (2016-2017, 2019-2023), top 100 Super Lawyers Dallas/Fort Worth (2012, 2015-2023), and earning the D CEO 2019 Award “The Most Powerful Business Leaders in Dallas-Fort Worth.”
Jeff shares his knowledge by writing, giving talks, and teaching attorneys about family law and useful trial techniques across the state. He believes in values like integrity, faith, family, service, and excellence, and he lives by them.
Jeff is proud of his work as the chair of the Special Concerns of Children Committee of the AAML (American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers). He has also served on the Board of Directors of Kids Matter International, where he contributed to helping children locally and globally.
Recognizing that each family law case is unique, Jeff understands the need for different strategies, approaches, and presentation methods. His passion for trial advocacy led him to pursue an undergraduate degree in Speech Communications, where he learned the art of persuasion.
Throughout his education, career, and life, Jeff has dedicated himself to becoming the best family law and divorce lawyer possible. With over 29 years of experience, he specializes in child custody cases and takes a special interest in complex adoption, divorce, international custody, and family law matters in the Dallas-Ft. Worth Metro Area.
“As my legal career took off, I learned that an effective attorney isn’t just aggressive and he doesn’t blindly follow the bullets as he shoots. An effective attorney is strategic and determined, has a strong sense of integrity, and is guided by values and faith. That’s how I try cases. There are two hundred ways to tell every story, but only one of those is the most persuasive.”
— Jeff Anderson
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How do I pick the best family law or divorce lawyer for my case?
A great family law attorney has three strong abilities. (1) He or she has a mastery knowledge of the law and how it interplays with the facts. (2) He or she knows how to try a lawsuit and enjoys it. Being afraid of going to trial can be devastating to the case and the client. He or she should always plan on going to trial, but also work to settle it. (3) He or she knows how to manage a case. If a case isn’t managed properly, it might do little good to go to trial. This is where decades of experience comes in. A great divorce attorney has a vision for the case from the beginning, though it’s always subject to pivoting as circumstances change. Strategy starts at the beginning and executing on that strategy, with the right elements at the right time, is critical. The client is part of the solution and should be given thorough explanation on how the process works, the strategy, and how that strategy should be executed. It’s the client’s life and the client’s case. So that client’s input, goals, and personality drive the strategy. Everyone wants their case over with quickly. That’s human nature. Most of the time, no matter how fast it’s done, it won’t be finished fast enough. But not having confidence in your family law attorney will make it worse. If you can identify these abilities in your attorney, it should help with the entire process, including that oh-so-difficult part – patience.
Why Should I Hire an Attorney that only practices Family Law?
Many Texas residents have lawyers with whom they’ve worked for years on things like drafting wills and other estate materials or dealing with business ventures. But when a serious Texas family law issue arises, like a divorce or the protection of a child, they wonder if it’s really that important to hire an attorney who solely practices family law. It’s not just important to have an attorney with a limited practice within family law, it’s important to have one who is board certified in Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. A recent article in Texas Lawyer explained that, even though a lawyer can be great in his or her specialized area of law, many non-family lawyers don’t always know how to handle a divorce case or a child related matter. They just don’t know the intricacies of family law practice and can’t advise their clients and efficiently spend their time (and the client’s money) on what’s important. The article reported that when it comes to Texas family law and the Texas Family Code, a number of questions exist that non-family law lawyers tend to “get wrong”. Such matters highlight the necessity of contacting an attorney experienced in family law when you have a question about family law in Texas.
Where can I file for divorce in the Dallas area?
If you live in Dallas County, you can file for divorce at the Dallas County District Clerk’s office located at: 600 Commerce Street Suite 103, Dallas, TX 75202. Click Here for Directions
Can I represent myself in a divorce in Dallas County?
You have an absolute right to represent yourself in your family law case, though it’s kind of like taking out your own appendix. Family law attorneys spend years learning the law, the process, and the Judges. It is often easier and cheaper to have an experienced family law attorney to represent you from the beginning than it is to pay one later to fix all the things that might be damaged.
What documents do I submit when I file for divorce at the Dallas County District Clerk’s office?
A divorce begins when an Original Petition for Divorce is filed, along with the filing fee. In Dallas, that fee is $350.00 if there are no children of the marriage and $401.00 if there are children.
Do I have to be a resident of Dallas to file for divorce in Dallas County?
According to the Dallas County District Clerk’s Office “To file for divorce in Dallas County, you should have lived in Dallas County for 90 days and in Texas for six months”. Technically, this means that either you or your spouse need to have lived in Dallas for at least 90 days, and have been a resident of Texas for a minimum of 6 months. Details can be found at this link here Representing Yourself in a Divorce.
How much does it cost to file for divorce in Dallas County?
The filing fee to submit a Petition for Divorce at the Dallas County District Clerk’s Office is $350.00 if there are no children of the marriage and $401.00 if the parties have children. For a modification action, the filing fee is $95.00. A Judge can decide the custody and visitation arrangements for your children, though Texas is one of only two states that allow for jury trials on some of these matters, like primary custody and domicile restriction. Without an experienced custody lawyer on your side you will be leaving custody to chance.
Do I have to pay for my spouse to be served divorce papers?
The short answer is “yes”. There are two ways to get your spouse served. One is to pay for service when you file for divorce. If you do that, a County Constable will serve your spouse with the documents. The other is to have a private process server take care of it. My office uses a private process server. They are generally slightly more expensive, but they will work with the client to get their spouse served. Constables often have no communication with the client at all. If your spouse chooses to sign a Waiver of Citation or file an Answer to your Divorce without being served, then there is no need for service at all.
How long does it take for my divorce to be final after I file the paperwork at the Dallas County Courthouse?
By law, the Court can’t grant your divorce until the Original Petition has been on file for at least 60 days. That’s a minimum amount of time. If your case goes longer than that, the Court will not automatically dismiss your case on the 61st day. That 60 day time period should not be confused with the amount of time the other spouse has to answer the case after they are served. Once you or your spouse are served, the answer is due in 20 days, plus the Monday thereafter. That’s a bit confusing. It means that if the 20th day falls on, for instance, a Thursday, the answer isn’t due until the following Monday. If the case isn’t answered timely, then a default judgement can be taken, which means the case gets finished without any input from the spouse who was served. But if the case hasn’t been on file for at least 60 days, the Court can’t grant the divorce, default or not.