Ending a marriage is a life-changing event, even if you and your spouse decided to divorce mutually. No matter what your divorce may entail, you and your spouse must endure a series of legal proceedings that may pose unpredictable frustrations and complexities. It’s natural to have lots of questions about how to prepare for your divorce in Tulsa, OK. While every situation is unique, there are a few essential tips to follow to streamline your divorce and ensure a smoother divorce experience.
Secure Legal Counsel You Can Trust
The most important thing you can do to prepare yourself for divorce proceedings in Tulsa, OK, is to secure legal counsel from an experienced family law attorney. It may be technically possible to navigate your divorce case without legal representation but doing so is very risky and challenging. Even if you manage to succeed, there is a chance you could overlook important details and find yourself with a divorce order that does not truly suit your needs and interests. You could also make mistakes with court filings that significantly delay the court’s handling of your divorce.
Your Tulsa, OK, divorce lawyer can help you gather the materials you will need for your divorce, including your financial records and any other evidence you may require for making a compelling case for child custody and securing fair and reasonable child support and alimony terms. Your divorce is likely to require discussion of deeply personal and sensitive issues, and your attorney can potentially help you explore alternative dispute resolution that may help you keep your divorce negotiations private. You will also be able to consistently rely on your legal team to provide advice and support if unforeseen complications arise during your divorce case.
Be Proactive in Gathering Necessary Documentation
While it’s essential to have a lawyer you can trust for your divorce, you should not expect your attorney to do all the work in building your side of the case. When it comes to financial disclosure, establishing your positive relationships with your children, and demonstrating your good character to the Tulsa, OK, family court, you must be proactive in securing the documentation you will need during your divorce.
Your attorney can provide you with a list of records and other materials you should gather in preparation for your divorce proceedings. It’s typically best to secure these materials as soon as possible and provide them to your attorney. They will help you develop a comprehensive financial record packet for your financial disclosure and determine which documents and records you may need for other aspects of your case. Working on this as soon as possible is vital for speeding up the timetable of your divorce, and less work for your attorney means lower legal fees for you.
Understand the Financial Disclosure Process
Oklahoma is one of many US states that upholds an equitable distribution statute for property division in divorce. This means the court system aims for the fairest possible division of marital assets in a divorce case, but this does not necessarily mean the result will be entirely equal. If a judge settles property division in your divorce, they will assess multiple financial factors, including your income and your spouse’s income, work experience, job prospects, formal education, medical status, and custody rights. They then use these variables to determine the best way to divide your marital property.
This is where financial disclosure comes into play. Your individual property ownership rights could influence the outcome of the judge’s equitable distribution ruling. For example, if one spouse owns a significant amount of separate property compared to the other spouse, the other spouse is likely to secure a larger share of marital property. Therefore, it is crucial to be accurate and as detailed as possible in your financial disclosure statement to ensure the fairest possible division of assets.
Maintain Positive Relationships With Your Children
If you and your spouse have children together, your child custody determination will likely be the most challenging part of your divorce. However, the Tulsa, OK, family court system must rule in favor of preserving the best interests of any children affected by a custody determination. Divorce may be difficult for you, but it will be worse for your children, especially if they are too young to truly understand any aspect of what is happening. Maintaining as much normalcy as possible while doing your best to explain the situation to your kids will work out best in the long term. They may not fully understand what is happening but doing your best to be actively engaged in their everyday lives will help you lay a foundation for a more positive transition to their new reality.
The personal stress of your divorce can make it incredibly difficult for anything to feel “normal” as your case unfolds, but maintaining your relationships with your children is paramount if you want to ensure healthy relationships with them in the future. Do not try to turn your kids against your spouse in an effort to gain a more significant share of custody. This is not only unfair and damaging to your children but very likely to backfire tremendously. If your children later discover you lied to them or misled them just to spite their other parent, they will likely resent your actions, and this can irreparably damage your relationships with your kids.
Build a Strong Rapport With Your Attorney
Once you secure legal counsel, your attorney can provide personalized advice and guidance as you navigate your divorce proceedings. Remember that you may eventually need to return to family court to address unforeseen changes in your life or any noncompliance with your family court order. Building a solid relationship with your attorney means you will have a reliable legal representative to assist you with any future complications.
Divorce is never easy, and every divorce case is likely to raise tough questions. The emotional aspects of divorce can make it challenging to remain objective, and the best asset you can have on your side is legal counsel you can trust. If you are ready to begin building your divorce case in Tulsa, OK, contact an experienced family law attorney to get the answers you need to your most pressing divorce-related questions.