If the time has come to end your marriage with divorce, you need a plan. For Tulsa men, that plan should include a local lawyer familiar with the local court system and dedicated to helping men navigate complicated family law litigation. When you are facing a divorce in Tulsa, you need an experienced Tulsa men’s divorce lawyer.
It’s possible to file a divorce pro se (without an attorney) — but in many instances, it’s not advisable. This is particularly true if you have children. There are so many issues that must be resolved in a divorce. A Tulsa divorce lawyer can help you sort out all the issues that need resolution and come up with concrete ways to find solutions that work for you. All of that requires planning.
Planning For The Initial Separation
One of the first things that most divorcing couples do is to separate physically. Most often this entails having one of the parties move out of the family home. While you can stay on your friend’s couch for a couple of nights, most often you will want to find a living situation that feels more permanent. This will require some cash for rent.
An Oklahoma divorce requires the preparing of a petition for divorce, which must be filed with the court. Filing fees can be over $200 in Tulsa County.
Once the petition is filed, it needs to be served on your spouse. Service of process fees vary according to the difficulty of the service. If your spouse is evading service, it can be more expensive.
Initial Court Proceedings
Not every court appearance is a contentious one, but many are. Having an attorney at your side for those hearings can be critical to their outcome.
In the initial proceedings after filing and service of a petition, a court will usually issue temporary orders. If your spouse and you can agree on those orders beforehand, it is easier to handle that appearance.
If you and your spouse have children, the court requires a parenting plan conference. This is a court appearance that can have consequences regarding child custody in Tulsa. Having your attorney with you for this conference can be handy and lay the groundwork for further orders down the line.
Disclosures And Discovery
The law requires the disclosure of certain documents, including all financial records pertaining to income and assets. This can include pay stubs, proof of income, investment statements, bank accounts, and other assets. This can be straightforward in many cases — but if a spouse is trying to hide assets or there is a dispute between the spouses as to whether something is marital property, the matter can become contentious.
Divorce law in Oklahoma allows for the discovery of asset information as well as other information pertaining to property, children, debts, and any businesses belonging to either spouse. Discovery mechanisms include the production of documents, answers to interrogatories, request for admissions of facts, and depositions.
How you answer discovery requests from the other side directly impacts varying aspects of your divorce. This is not something you should handle alone. Work with your attorney.
All the property that you and your ex acquired during the marriage will have to be divided between the two of you. Debts and liabilities must also be divided.
Ultimately, Oklahoma family law judges work to divide marital property equitably between spouses at divorce. This often means the property is not divided 50/50, but in a manner that is fair and equitable to both partners in the eyes of the court.
If you and your ex can work out most of the property division, it is always better than having the court decide it for you. You will feel as though you have more control over the outcome. Your attorney can help you organize your asset and liability information and work with your spouse or your spouse’s attorney to come up with a plan regarding property division that the court will approve.
Mediation: A Way To Resolve Issues
Many couples use mediation as a tool to help them resolve specific issues in divorce. This can be a cost-effective tool. In mediation, you and your attorney will sit down with your ex-spouse and the mediator to discuss possible options for settlement.
Mediators are neutral third parties who are experienced in this area of the law. A mediator works with opposing sides to find a compromise that will work for both parties. A mediator does not make a decision, but rather helps the parties come to their own decision. The court then approves your decision.
Pretrial And Trial
When parties cannot resolve their issues, whether those issues revolve around property division or custody and support of the children, the court will set the matter for trial on the issues that remain unresolved.
This involves a pretrial conference at which the court will make decisions about what evidence will come in, what witnesses will testify, and a general plan for trial. Document lists and witness lists are exchanged, and any pretrial motions are heard.
As trial approaches, sometimes parties can move toward a further settlement of outstanding issues. Regardless, whatever issues are outstanding by the trial date must be presented at trial.
Trials are formal and have their own rules. Witnesses are presented and cross-examined, and documentary evidence is presented for the court to consider in making its decision on any outstanding issues.
Trials are expensive, but sometimes they are necessary. Your Tulsa men’s divorce lawyer will be experienced in handling divorce trials. You must work closely with your attorney if there are matters headed toward trial.
How A Tulsa Men’s Divorce Lawyer Can Help
Getting an experienced divorce lawyer involved early can make all the difference in the world. When emotions run high, it is easy for combative parties to allow discussions to devolve into shouting matches rather than to focus on the resolution of issues. An attorney keeps a cool head and can work objectively to help you resolve outstanding issues and move toward a final decree, which allows you to move on with their life.
Organization, planning, keeping open lines of communication, and maintaining a cool head can all help at a time when it might be difficult for you to manage those on your own. Remember that these issues regarding your children, support, and property division will be with you for years to come. This is not a time to try to handle matters on your own. Get it right the first time and get the help you need from Tulsa.dads.law.
Free Consultation With A Tulsa Men’s Divorce Lawyer
Divorce is difficult. Don’t try to do this on your own. Get help as soon as possible. Contact a Tulsa divorce attorney for men who understands the unique issues men face in divorce. Call 918-962-0900 or send a message by clicking the consultation button anywhere on this site.