Divorce is an emotionally stressful process for everyone who experiences it, even when couples are entirely convinced that ending their marriages would be best for both of them. The legal process of divorce is multifaceted and more complex than many people realize. One of the most important things you can do to prepare yourself for the divorce process is secure legal representation you can trust. However, many people who are entering the family court system for the first time wonder how to find the right lawyers to represent them.
Most family law attorneys in Tulsa, OK, offer consultations to prospective clients. A consultation is essentially an interview. First, the client asks questions and gauges the attorney’s responses to determine if they want to hire them as legal representation. Then, the attorney evaluates the prospective client’s case to determine whether they want to accept the case. If you are preparing to divorce in Tulsa, you should know what a consultation entails and how to prepare for it.
Finding Potential Divorce Attorneys in Tulsa, OK
Before you start scheduling consultations with potential attorneys, it’s vital to narrow down a list of the best candidates in your area by doing your own research. You should look at online reviews for local attorneys and ask friends and family for recommendations if they recently finalized divorce cases. Once you have a list of a handful of local attorneys who seem to be good fits for your case, you should schedule consultations with each one until you determine which attorney would be best for your case.
Preparing for Your Consultation
Make sure you arrive on time with a list of questions prepared for a prospective divorce attorney. These questions should help you gauge the attorney’s skill and experience levels and cover any unique facets of your case that you think may require additional attention. The following are a few general examples of questions you should ask during a consultation:
- How much experience do you have with Tulsa divorce cases? You need to be sure that your chosen attorney has adequate experience practicing law and that they have solid experience handling the type of case you currently face. Divorce laws change from state to state, so be sure the attorney has sufficient experience in the Oklahoma family court system and with divorce cases specifically.
- How many cases do you handle at a time? You should be confident that your chosen attorney will be ready and willing to provide updates on your case as it unfolds and that you can get in touch with them easily when you have questions or concerns. Next, find out how much of a caseload the attorney typically handles at a time. Experienced Tulsa, OK, divorce attorneys typically maintain balanced caseloads to ensure they can provide every client with the full scope of their attention and resources.
- Do you notice anything unique about my situation? Of course, every divorce case must cover a few fundamental legal issues, but there are also unique issues that can arise and complicate a divorce. An experienced attorney should be able to quickly identify any unique challenges or opportunities you face as they review the initial details of your impending divorce.
- What is your divorce representation strategy? Most modern divorce attorneys encourage their clients to explore alternative dispute resolution, such as collaborative divorce and mediation. These methods of resolving a divorce can dramatically reduce the time and expense required to complete the dissolution process. Find out how your attorney views alternative dispute resolution, whether they believe it to be a viable option in your case, and how they anticipate your proceedings will unfold.
- How long do you think my divorce will take to complete? Every divorce case is unique, and many couples are able to resolve their divorces within a few months of filing their divorce petitions. An experienced Tulsa, OK, divorce attorney should be able to provide a reasonable estimate of the timeframe your divorce will likely require based on the details you provide them. They may also offer suggestions for ways to speed up the process, such as taking advantage of alternative dispute resolution.
- How much does your representation cost? It’s natural to have concerns about the cost of legal fees when you are facing a divorce that can dramatically impact your finances for the foreseeable future. Ask the potential attorney how they bill their clients, whether they offer flat-fee billing for specific legal services, and how long they expect to spend working on your case. Their answers should help you gauge how much their services will cost.
These are only a few examples of the types of questions you should ask during your consultation. You should also develop questions based on the unique details of your situation. For example, if your spouse engaged in any domestic violence against you or has a criminal record, ask the attorney if they have experience handling divorce cases that involve factors like these and how they anticipate your case to proceed. You should also ask the attorney if they have any exceptional experience or certifications that may offer unique advantages should you decide to hire them.
Why Do I Need a Divorce Lawyer?
It’s a mistake to assume that you can handle your divorce case on your own, no matter how straightforward it may seem. The average person would struggle in various ways to meet the family court’s demanding filing deadlines and other rules, potentially causing significant delays in the court’s handling of their cases. It’s also possible for a divorcing spouse with no legal counsel to unintentionally agree to terms that pose long-term difficulties.
Ultimately, hiring a Tulsa, OK, divorce attorney is an investment in your success with the divorce process. A good attorney can help you approach the situation with peace of mind, provide detailed answers to any questions that arise during your proceedings, and help you achieve the best possible results in your divorce settlement. Therefore, whatever your divorce may entail, it’s vital to secure legal representation from an experienced Tulsa, OK, divorce attorney as soon as possible once you’ve decided to end your marriage.