Divorce Law in Oklahoma
How to Find an Oklahoma Divorce Attorney
Are considering divorce? Are you researching Oklahoma divorce attorneys? Are you concerned about legal fees? Are you thinking of trying to file the divorce papers and proceeding through negotiations on your own?
In 2010, 27,012 divorces were finalized in Oklahoma. As Oklahoma native, Joan Crawford, said:
Love is a fire. But whether it is going to warm your hearth or burn down your house, you can never tell.
If you are considering divorce and looking for an Oklahoma divorce attorney, this article is for you. We'll review:
- Oklahoma specific divorce law requirements;
- What you need to know about divorce; and
- Whether it's in your best interest to hire an Oklahoma divorce lawyer and, if so, how to find one and how to prepare to work with him or her.
Oklahoma Divorce Law Specifics
Divorce law varies from state to state. This section highlights what you need to know about Oklahoma divorce law.
- Either you or your spouse must have been a resident of Oklahoma for at least 6 months prior to the divorce filing.
- Divorce may be filed based upon either "no-fault" or "fault" grounds.
- Oklahoma uses the terms, "petitioner" to refer to the spouse who initially filed the divorce papers and "respondent" for the other spouse.
- In Oklahoma, divorce papers are filed in the District Court of the appropriate county.
- In some cases, alimony is available.
- In Oklahoma property distribution will be based upon what's "equitable" (i.e. fair) and child support will be based upon the Income Shares Model.
What You Need to Know About Divorce in Oklahoma
To keep your divorce from burning down your house (with a nod to Joan Crawford, who knew the costs of divorce), we suggest that you:
- Cooperate and collaborate with your spouse, your spouse's divorce attorney, and your attorney. Cooperation and collaboration will keep your legal fees down.
- Hire a divorce lawyer who will cooperate and collaborate with spouse's attorney to get you more of what you want, keep fees down, and reduce stress.
- Know that you absolutely will have to compromise. In divorce, no spouse gets all of what he or she wants. No worries; your spouse will have to compromise too. Mental preparation and providing requested information will keep your legal fees down.
- You'll benefit from investing in a therapist to help you deal with the pain and changes that divorce brings. Being able to stay grounded when dealing with your spouse and divorce issues will keep your legal fees down.
Is it in Your Best Interests to Work with an Oklahoma Divorce Lawyer?
You may think that by avoiding legal fees, you'll be saving money. This is likely not true. In fact, trying to be a do-it-yourselfer will likely cost you much more.
What will a mistake cost you? What if you make 2 mistakes? What if you give up your marital rights? What if the divorce drags on and on?
Will mistakes cost you tens of thousands of dollars? More? Will it cost you your house? What about time with your children? What about your retirement funds?
Even Oklahoma attorneys, who go through divorce, hire their own divorce lawyers. They know that they don't know everything about divorce law and that they are not objective about their family situation.
How to Find and Select an Oklahoma Divorce Attorney
Google has made it easy to find a lawyer. Just enter "How to Find a Oklahoma Divorce Attorney" into your search engine. You can also ask for referrals from loved ones, if you're okay with making your marriage issues public.
Once you've found several Oklahoma attorneys, who focus their practice on family law and divorce law, then narrow down your list.
- Always ask whatever questions you have about fees, the process, what to expect, communications, and timing.
- Is the attorney willing to show you how to keep your legal fees to a minimum?
- Ask how the attorneys approach the process. Are they willing to work cooperatively? Or will they instigate fighting and push you into court?
- Select the attorney with whom you are most comfortable.
How to Prepare to Work with Your Divorce Attorney
When you're getting ready to work with your divorce lawyer, these tips will get you started on the right track, saving you money, time, effort, and stress (i.e. keep your house from burning down).
- Determine whether reconciliation efforts have been exhausted.
- Consult with a therapist or psychologist, who specializes in helping people going through divorce.
- Make a list of questions and concerns to address with your divorce attorney; and, collect any information that your attorney has requested or suggested may be helpful such as a list of expenses, income, liabilities, and assets.
- Make a "wish list" (e.g. finances, living arrangements, and child related matters) and indicate those items that are your top priorities in the divorce and those items that aren't as important and can be compromised.
By hiring an Oklahoma divorce lawyer, you may actually be spending money up front to save money in the end. And a good lawyer will show you how to keep legal fees to a minimum.