If you live in the Tulsa or Oklahoma City regions of Oklahoma, it’s essential to know what to do and where you can go for help if you decide to end your marriage. The divorce rate in Oklahoma has been one of the highest in the nation for years due to several factors. Recently, Oklahoma reported its highest domestic violence rate in many years, with Tulsa County the epicenter of this disturbing trend. Whether you are leaving an abusive spouse or have simply decided that your marriage is beyond the point of possible reconciliation, it’s vital to understand the value an experienced Oklahoma divorce attorney can provide to your situation.
Below is a list of some of the most important frequently asked questions to help you find the right attorney to represent you. In addition, many family law attorneys in the Tulsa and Oklahoma City areas offer free or low-cost consultations to prospective clients, providing you with an opportunity to interview potential attorneys to handle your divorce case.
Determine the Attorney’s Experience Level
Experience is arguably the most important quality you should assess when determining whether you should hire a particular attorney. Thousands of family law attorneys work in the Tulsa and Oklahoma City regions, and many new attorneys join these ranks each year. While many new attorneys are enthusiastic, talented, and eager to build their case portfolios with successful representation, there is simply no substitute for an attorney with years of experience handling family law for their clients.
If you take advantage of a consultation offer in Tulsa or Oklahoma City, consider asking a few questions that can help you determine an attorney’s experience level:
- “How long have you been practicing law?” Find out how long the attorney has held their license to practice.
- “How much of your professional career has been focused on family law?” It’s vital to choose an attorney who has extensive experience specifically handling family law cases.
- “How many family law cases have you represented?” Then, ask about the attorney’s history of cases similar to yours.
- “How long have you practiced family law in Oklahoma?” If your attorney previously practiced family law in another state, make sure they have ample experience in Oklahoma family law.
It’s necessary to determine how much experience the attorney has with practicing law in general and how long they have focused on family law in Oklahoma. Each state upholds unique family law statutes, so you should strive to hire a family law attorney with a solid record of family law representation in the Tulsa or Oklahoma City areas.
Evaluate the Attorney’s Legal Strategies
A good Oklahoma family law attorney should provide client-focused representation. Every family law case is unique; therefore, a one-size-fits-all approach simply does not suit every client. Instead, consider asking the potential attorney a few critical questions about their legal philosophy and the strategies they are most likely to employ in handling your case:
- “Do you notice anything unique about my family law case?” Every family law case involves unique details, and a good attorney should quickly identify these factors in your case.
- “How do you plan on streamlining my case?” Good attorneys strive to make their clients’ experiences as painless and efficient as possible.
- “Do you recommend exploring alternative dispute resolution?” For example, mediation can help you settle a divorce much more quickly than standard litigation in family court.
- “How much time am I likely to spend in family court litigation?” Almost every divorce will entail some litigation, so ask the attorney what they expect to happen with your case.
These questions allow you to see how the attorney is most likely to approach your case. Skilled family law attorneys aim to provide their clients with expedient results. For example, divorce can be efficiently handled in mediation as long as both spouses are willing to negotiate, and this will save both of them significant amounts of time and money in resolving their divorce. Therefore, your attorney should encourage you to take full advantage of divorce mediation to whatever extent your situation allows.
Ask for the Attorney’s Expectations for Your Case
One of the most critical stages of any legal consultation is determining the attorney’s impression of your case. A skillful attorney should quickly identify unique variables in play for a prospective client and provide them with reasonable estimates concerning various aspects of the case in question. Consider asking a few questions to gauge the attorney’s first impressions of your family law matter:
- “What is your expectation for my case result?” Asking for the attorney’s honest opinion of your case is an effective way to gauge their enthusiasm for representing you and your likelihood of securing a positive result.
- “How long do you expect my case to take to conclude?” Your attorney should be able to provide a reasonable estimate of how long you can expect your case to unfold.
- “Do you anticipate any need to return to court in the future for modification?” For example, complex family law orders could lead to disputes later. Ask your attorney if they see this potential for your case.
- “What unique issues do you notice with my legal position?” Your attorney should be able to highlight any areas of concern present with your current legal situation.
The attorney’s answers will help you develop your own timetable and list of expectations for your case. You should also ask additional questions that are specific to your situation. For example, if you are divorcing for a specific reason such as domestic violence, ask the attorney what they can do to help you and your children remain protected throughout your divorce proceedings, such as securing protective orders or assisting you in taking advantage of social resources available to individuals in circumstances similar to yours.
Finding the right attorney to handle your Oklahoma family court case can help you approach this difficult situation with confidence and peace of mind. Before taking advantage of any consultation offers and choosing an Oklahoma City or Tulsa family law attorney to represent you, take time to develop a list of questions that will help you determine whether an attorney is right for your case. Once you have your list ready, contact an experienced Oklahoma family law attorney to determine if they are the right representative for you.