Divorce is always difficult and emotionally stressful, even when a couple reaches the mutual decision to divorce. No matter what a divorce case entails, divorce proceedings can drag on for months or longer, depending on the case’s complexity. If you have made the decision to end your marriage in Tulsa, OK, it’s natural to wonder whether there is anything you could do to hasten the process and obtain your divorce order faster. Every divorce is unique, and some measure of divorce litigation is unavoidable in virtually every divorce. However, there are some things you can do to potentially speed up the process and save time and money on your proceedings.
Start Negotiations With Your Spouse Before Filing a Divorce Petition
In some cases, divorce manifests abruptly. For example, you may have caught your spouse cheating with someone else, discovered a severe substance abuse disorder, or found out they have squandered your marital assets due to gambling addiction. In other cases, divorce can result from months or even years of built-up tension and unresolved personal issues. No matter how your divorce came about, it’s essential to try and be as objective as possible about the situation once you or your spouse has decided to end your marriage.
Many people let their emotions override logic when it comes to the breakdown of the marriage. This can lead to tense court battles, lengthy case proceedings, and greater expense for both spouses. If you and your spouse can do so, it is worth taking the time to discuss both of your expectations for your divorce. You may not agree to everything right away, but taking time for these discussions can help you draft the framework of your divorce agreement before you get lawyers involved. In addition, your attorneys can help you clarify any legal statutes that you do not understand and provide valuable guidance as you prepare for the formal process of divorce. Additionally, taking time to discuss your divorce privately before taking formal steps toward starting the process can be a valuable exercise for both of you.
Take Advantage of Mediation
Many couples in Oklahoma and throughout the United States choose alternative dispute resolution instead of litigation to handle their divorce cases. Litigation can take months or even years to complete depending on the willingness of the spouses to compromise and the complexity of the details their cases involve. Divorce mediation, on the other hand, allows a divorcing couple to keep their negotiations private, maintain more control over the outcome of their divorce, and save time and money. They can also negotiate in a supportive, low-pressure environment typically more welcoming than the courtroom.
The one main requirement for divorce mediation is the willingness of both spouses to undergo alternative dispute resolution. If one of the divorcing spouses demands a trial, they may do so, but it will make mediation impossible. A good attorney will advise their client of the benefits of divorce mediation even if they have trouble accepting the idea of civilly negotiating with their soon-to-be-ex-spouse. The two spouses and their respective divorce lawyers will meet with a neutral mediator who will guide their negotiations and help them draft a divorce order during mediation.
During mediation, you and your spouse can negotiate property division, spousal support, and many other aspects of your divorce. You cannot, however, make any final decisions concerning custody and financial support for your children. The Tulsa, OK, family court must review and approve any parenting plan to ensure it serves the best interests of the children it will affect. You and your spouse can draft a proposal for a parenting plan during mediation, but it must pass a family court judge’s review before it takes legal effect.
Keep Litigation to a Minimum
Ultimately, it is always best to avoid divorce litigation as much as possible. Your situation will likely entail many unique variables, but you can likely resolve many of them through alternative dispute resolution. In addition, it may be possible for you and your spouse to cover everything aside from child custody and a few complex issues in mediation, minimizing the time you must spend in litigation.
Your Tulsa, OK, divorce attorney is the best resource for determining the available ways you can minimize the time you must spend in litigation. The right attorney will encourage their client to take full advantage of alternative dispute resolution, so they only need to undergo litigation as minimally as possible. If you complete mediation as much as your unique situation allows, you may only need to attend a few court hearings before the judge finalizes your divorce.
Secure Reliable Legal Representation
If you want to streamline your divorce in Tulsa as much as possible, perhaps the most important thing you can do to ensure a swift and favorable outcome is to hire a reliable and experienced Tulsa, OK, divorce lawyer. The right attorney will take time to get to know you and your situation to provide individualized legal counsel, guiding you toward the best possible options for handling your divorce. A good attorney is responsive to your questions and concerns as your case unfolds and will give you multiple options for contacting them and provide timely responses. They should also have a solid track record of successful divorce cases behind them.
It’s natural to be concerned about the cost of legal representation as you begin the divorce process. Legal fees are notoriously expensive, and your divorce is likely to take a significant financial toll regardless of the outcome. However, a good Tulsa, OK, divorce attorney will be transparent in explaining their billing policy and help you understand the timeframe your divorce will likely require.
Once you have decided to end your marriage in Tulsa, OK, it’s perfectly understandable to want to get the process over with as quickly as possible so you can move on with your life. However, divorce is difficult, multifaceted, and you may be unsure what to do to streamline this process. Therefore, contact an experienced Tulsa, OK, divorce lawyer as soon as possible so you can begin your divorce proceedings with confidence.