Oklahoma recently reached a 20-year divorce rate high. There are numerous reasons for this trend, including spiking domestic violence rates throughout the state, but ultimately Oklahoma couples decide to divorce for numerous reasons. Suppose you have decided to end your marriage in Tulsa, Oklahoma City, or anywhere else in Oklahoma. In that case, it is essential to know your rights and the best assets you can have to approach this situation with confidence. Divorce is never easy, even when the divorcing spouses are respectful of one another and agreeable to the proposed terms of their divorces. However, you can make your Oklahoma divorce much easier by working with a reliable attorney and knowing the other assets you may want to have on your side for this challenging process.
Your Legal Counsel Is Your Best Asset
You may wonder if you need to hire an attorney to represent you in your divorce, especially if you and your spouse reached a mutual decision to end your marriage and are at least moderately agreeable concerning the terms of your divorce. It’s essential to understand the benefits of legal representation in an Oklahoma divorce, especially if you want to protect your interests in the long term. It is also vital to hire an attorney to represent you if your spouse has secured their own legal counsel. If they have a lawyer and you do not, this puts you at a significant disadvantage in divorce settlement negotiations or litigation.
An experienced Oklahoma divorce attorney can review the details of your situation and help you make more informed choices about your legal options for your divorce. In addition, if you plan to take advantage of alternative dispute resolution like divorce mediation, you will need an attorney to represent you in your negotiations, and you can also have them act as your proxy if you prefer to avoid face-to-face negotiation with your soon-to-be ex-spouse.
Divorce is much more than simply ending your marriage contract; it is also a legal process of dividing the marital assets that you and your spouse control and establishing separate property ownership rights over those assets. Property division is likely to be one of the most contentious issues in any divorce, even when spouses reach the mutual decision to end their marriage. Your attorney can assist you with the financial disclosure process to ensure your records are complete and accurate. If you suspect your spouse has hidden assets or has otherwise failed to be honest in their own financial disclosure, you can rely on your attorney to coordinate an expert witness review of your records from a forensic accountant or another financial professional.
Alternative Dispute Resolution Offers Undeniable Advantages
If you are unsure of the best available approach to your divorce, it is vital to know your options for alternative dispute resolution. When most people imagine divorce, they think of an emotionally charged court battle, but the reality is that many modern couples who choose to divorce handle this process through alternative dispute resolution, namely mediation.
Mediation’s only requirement is that both spouses must be willing to engage in the process. If one spouse demands a trial, the divorce case must proceed to court, and a judge will have the final say on every aspect of the divorce. When both spouses are open to the idea of mediation, the process unfolds under the guidance of a neutral mediator. This mediator may not hold any conflicts of interest favoring either spouse, and they cannot provide either spouse with any legal counsel.
The mediator’s job is to guide mediation discussions and keep conversations focused. They can clarify general information regarding Oklahoma legal statutes, but they cannot directly counsel either spouse. This is another reason legal representation is so critical in any divorce. Even when spouses are willing to negotiate in divorce mediation, they must each have their own legal counsel to make the most informed decisions they possibly can about the outcome of their divorce.
Handling Emotional Tension in an Oklahoma Divorce
It’s common for divorce cases to stem from deep personal issues between the spouses, such as infidelity, substance abuse, gambling addiction, and various other traumatic elements. In these situations, it can be incredibly difficult for either of the spouses to imagine having civil negotiations in divorce mediation, but the reality is that alternative dispute resolution offers the best possible outcomes in most divorce cases.
Even if you and your spouse seem to be utterly incapable of any civil discussions, divorce mediation is still possible with the help of an experienced Oklahoma divorce attorney. In addition, you can have your attorney manage negotiations on your behalf if you do not want to have any in-person negotiations with your spouse. While your mediation process will likely take longer, this option provides a middle ground of avoiding personal interaction while still taking advantage of the practical benefits that mediation offers.
When you need to proceed to litigation to finalize your Oklahoma divorce, your attorney can prepare you for each session and help you understand the elements in play during each phase of the process. Ideally, you should cover as much as you can before proceeding to litigation. Hence, the court phase of your divorce is essentially a final review and approval of your divorce order. However, if you must turn to an Oklahoma family court judge to rule on any outstanding elements of your divorce case, it is best to have an experienced divorce attorney on your side throughout this process.
Find Legal Counsel as Soon as Possible
If you know you are heading into a difficult divorce in Tulsa, Oklahoma City, or anywhere else in the state of Oklahoma, legal representation you can trust is the most vital asset to have on your side as you approach this complicated process. You can rely on your attorney to provide comprehensive and compassionate legal counsel through every phase of your case, whether it entails alternative dispute resolution sessions, extensive litigation in an Oklahoma family court, or a combination of both.
When you are ready to secure legal counsel for your divorce in Oklahoma City or Tulsa, take time to develop a list of the criteria you believe would constitute the best possible attorney for your case. Then, contact an experienced Oklahoma divorce attorney as soon as you have decided to end your marriage so you can start developing an effective strategy for streamlining your divorce proceedings.