Family law covers a broad spectrum of cases. If you are preparing for any type of family law matter, it’s vital to have legal counsel on your side who has solid experience handling cases similar to your own. While many aspects of family law mirror civil law, these two areas of law are quite different, and family law involves many unique statutes you must understand as your case unfolds. An experienced Tulsa, OK family law attorney can be incredibly helpful in many different types of cases.

Why You Need Legal Representation in Divorce

Divorce cases are some of the most common family law cases to unfold in the United States. Informally, the divorce process begins once a couple decides to end their marriage. However, they must undergo a formal legal process of dividing their marital assets, determining custody of their children, and establishing their separate legal identities. While many people believe they can navigate their divorce cases without legal counsel, the reality is that this is extremely difficult, and you risk winding up with a divorce order that does not suit your interests.

An experienced Tulsa, OK family law attorney can guide you through the divorce process with confidence. Most modern divorce attorneys strongly encourage their clients to take advantage of alternative dispute resolution such as mediation. This generally offers more expedient and more agreeable results, but it is not always possible in every divorce case. Regardless of what your unique situation entails, having an experienced Tulsa, OK family law attorney on your side will make the experience much easier to handle.

Do I Need to Hire an Attorney for Divorce Mediation?

If you plan to pursue alternative dispute resolution such as divorce mediation, do not assume that you can navigate this process successfully without a lawyer. While mediation is generally less stressful and more expedient than litigation, you still need legal counsel on your side to ensure you achieve a fair and reasonable result. Many people make the mistake of believing their mediator acts in place of an attorney. When you mediate, the mediator’s job is to guide the negotiation and answer questions concerning the legal statutes involved in the divorce. They cannot provide any legal counsel to either of the divorcing spouses.

Do I Need Legal Representation for an Adoption?

Adoptions also unfold in family court. If you are a stepparent and want to adopt your partner’s child, this can provide the adopted child with the same legal protections your biological children would have. Technically, you do not need an attorney for the adoption process in Tulsa, OK. However, hiring an attorney to assist you will make the process much easier.

Legal representation in adoption is especially valuable if there is any cause for concern of protest from the child’s other parent. Typically, the family court will not grant an adoption unless the parent that will be effectively replaced is unfit, medically disabled, or unwilling to assert their parental rights. It is also possible for a biological parent to have their parental rights involuntarily terminated due to bad behavior, such as criminal conviction or a history of domestic violence. If your situation entails any such factors, it is best to hire an attorney to assist you with your adoption case.

Should I Hire a Lawyer for an Annulment?

Annulments are rarely granted in Oklahoma and throughout the US. Many people believe that an annulment is simply another type of divorce, but this is not the case. A divorce ends a legal marriage, while an annulment declares that a marriage was never legitimate in the first place. If your marriage is annulled, it is as if it never occurred. Additionally, it is important to differentiate between a legal annulment and annulments offered by spiritual congregations like churches.

If you believe you have grounds for annulment, it’s best to consult a Tulsa, OK family law attorney as soon as possible. They can help you understand the process and determine whether you are likely to succeed in securing your annulment.

Do I Need a Lawyer for Legal Separation?

Legal separation is very similar to divorce in many ways but does not formally end a marriage. Many couples having marital issues will file for legal separation before initiating formal divorce proceedings, providing them time and space to determine whether divorce serves their best interests. Legal separation can also serve as a preliminary springboard for divorce, ultimately streamlining a future divorce case significantly.

When legally separated, married spouses remain legally married and retain all the rights and privileges that come with their marital status, but they are permitted to live separately. Some couples, particularly older couples, will choose legal separation to take advantage of shared health insurance and tax benefits if they have no intention of remarrying in the future.  While legal separation is technically not as involved as a divorce, it is still best to have an experienced Tulsa, OK family law attorney assist you with this process.

Should I Hire a Family Law Attorney for a Domestic Violence Case?

Domestic violence cases typically touch on both family law and criminal law. When a person commits any form of domestic violence, they face criminal prosecution from the state, and their actions will certainly impact any custody rights they may have. If you have experienced any form of domestic violence, it is vital to contact a Tulsa, OK family law attorney as soon as possible. They can help you secure an order of protection that will prevent your abuser from coming near you, your children, or your home, and your attorney can also help you determine the best next steps to take to legally distance yourself from them.

Ultimately, it is always best to have reliable legal counsel on your side when you are facing any type of family law matter. Your attorney will alleviate much of the stress of the situation and allow you to approach it with greater confidence. If you are concerned about legal fees, bear in mind that if you do not hire legal counsel, you stand to lose much more than you could potentially save in legal costs. If you are unsure whether your situation demands the attention of a lawyer, contact an experienced Tulsa, OK family law attorney as soon as possible to discuss your case.