If you and your spouse have decided to divorce, you may wonder whether you need to hire a divorce lawyer to represent you. Many people who reach mutual decisions with their spouses to end their marriages might understandably assume they can manage these proceedings independently, but this is not necessarily true. Every divorce case is unique, and regardless of your personal feelings toward your soon-to-be-ex-spouse, divorce is an inherently emotional issue.
If you want to approach your divorce proceedings confidently, it is best to work with an experienced Oklahoma City, OK, divorce attorney. A good attorney can help you better understand the legal proceedings you face and the complications that are likely to arise as your case unfolds. Additionally, the cost of legal representation is likely to be much less than you stand to lose if you risk handling your divorce on your own.
What Can a Divorce Lawyer Do for Me?
Even if you think your divorce involves minimal complexities and you have a reasonable idea of what the outcome will look like, it is always best to have reliable legal counsel on your side as you navigate this complicated process. For example, if you are having trouble accepting certain aspects of your divorce, or if your divorce came about through an acute and highly emotional issue such as unexpected infidelity or domestic violence, a reliable Oklahoma City divorce lawyer can be an invaluable asset to have on your side.
Your attorney will work closely with you to determine what issues you will likely face as your divorce unfolds. For example, you may face complex financial issues in terms of property division or encounter unexpected issues if you were anticipating alimony or spousal support to come into play in your divorce. It’s also possible that you may have unrealistic expectations concerning child support and child custody rights.
When you first hire an Oklahoma City, OK, divorce attorney, take the time to ask them all the questions you may have about the process. Most people facing divorce are unsure at first of what they can expect, and a good attorney can provide detailed answers to your most important divorce-related questions and concerns. They can also provide many important legal services that your case may demand, including:
- Document gathering. Divorce typically requires extensive documentation, particularly when it comes to financial disclosure. To ensure that you receive a fair and reasonable property division determination, it’s essential to provide a complete and accurate financial disclosure. Your Oklahoma City, OK, divorce attorney will help you gather the materials you must submit for your financial disclosure, helping you locate any records or documents that you may be unable to locate on your own.
- Expert witness testimony. Some complex divorce cases may require input from relevant experts. Expert witnesses such as medical professionals, social workers, forensic accountants, and others can play crucial roles in divorce cases. Your attorney will have the professional contacts necessary for securing any expert witness testimony your case may demand.
- Alternative dispute resolution. A good divorce attorney will help their client streamline their divorce proceedings whenever possible, and one of the best ways to do this is by taking advantage of alternative dispute resolution. First, ask your attorney whether they think divorce mediation is a viable option for your situation. Even if you cannot imagine having a civil discussion with your soon-to-be ex-spouse, a good attorney can help you take full advantage of the benefits of mediation, potentially helping you complete the process with minimal face-to-face time with your spouse.
- Divorce support resources. Divorce can be an emotionally challenging experience for you. A good attorney can connect you with valuable support resources to help you and your children through a challenging time.
- Litigation support. Virtually every divorce case will require some measure of litigation. Even if you and your spouse agree to alternative dispute resolution, you will need to attend at least one court hearing to finalize your divorce. The courtroom can be intimidating for some, and your attorney can help you prepare for every courtroom appearance you must attend. They’ll let you know what to expect so you can feel more comfortable during each appearance.
These are just some of the benefits you can enjoy by hiring an experienced and reliable Oklahoma City, OK, divorce attorney to represent you. If you do not hire legal counsel, you may think you can save money on legal fees, but the reality is that you stand to lose much more than you could potentially save by not hiring legal counsel. For example, you could make mistakes with your court proceedings, such as missing a filing deadline that extends the time required to complete your divorce. It’s also possible to overlook crucial aspects of your divorce or unintentionally agree to an unfair divorce settlement. Ultimately, the risks of not having legal representation in divorce far outweigh any potential benefits.
Finding the Right Attorney for Your Divorce Case
If you decide to hire legal counsel for your divorce, it’s vital to take your time and make an informed decision about your representation. You can find plenty of practicing divorce attorneys in the Oklahoma City, OK, area, but it’s vital to do some research to narrow your list of prospective attorneys to those who are most likely to guide you to a favorable outcome in your divorce. If you know a friend, relative, or coworker who recently went through a divorce, ask them about their experience with their attorney or whether they have any recommendations. You should also check online reviews for your top candidates and see what past clients say about them.
Divorce is a difficult situation, no matter what your unique situation entails. However, hiring legal counsel you can trust is one of the best things you can do to make the process easier, less stressful, and less expensive. Once you and your spouse have decided to end your marriage, contact an experienced Oklahoma City, OK, divorce lawyer as soon as possible to start working on your divorce case. The sooner you secure legal counsel, the easier it will be for you to confidently approach your divorce proceedings.