TULSA FAMILY LAWYER
We know that getting divorced can be highly stressful. You need a lawyer who can view your case with objectivity and compassion and protect your best interests in court so that you can move on with your life.
Whether you are thinking about divorcing your spouse or you are already facing divorce, Bryan Stratton is here to help.
Tulsa divorce lawyer Bryan Stratton has earned a reputation as a skilled family law attorney and has a proven track record in cases involving:
- Alimony (also called Spousal Maintenance)
- Marital Property Division
- Division of Marital Debt
- Child Custody & Visitation
- Child Support
What Should I Expect During the Divorce Process?
Every divorce case begins with the filing of a Petition for Divorce by one of the spouses. This spouse is called the “Petitioner.” The Petition should be filed in the County where the petitioning spouse lives. The other spouse, called the “Respondent” in legal terminology, must then be served with the divorce petition (and all subsequent related pleadings).
Note that the filing of the Petition legally establishes a default date of separation. This is important because many divorcing couples will have actually separated long before the initiation of the divorce. The “actual” date of separation is an important fact in determining financial obligations, so spouses must be aware of which date the court is using as the date of separation.
After the Petition is filed, the court will issue an “automatic temporary injunction” to prevent either spouse from doing certain things. Prohibited actions include: removing any children of the marriage from Oklahoma, wasting marital property, transferring (by sale or otherwise) marital property without the other spouse’s consent, incurring debts against marital property, and/or canceling the other spouse’s insurance coverage. The Respondent must answer the divorce petition within twenty days of the filing of the petition. This means he or she must file responsive pleadings within twenty days.
Once each party’s initial pleadings are on file, the parties may attempt to settle some or even all of the issues regarding the divorce, such as the division of marital property and marital debt as well as child custody/visitation arrangements. Ultimately, the court will enter a divorce order that incorporates any agreements reached by the spouses and issues additional orders for any contested issues. Remember that, even if all issues are agreed, state law requires the passage of ten days between the filing of the petition and the granting of a divorce.
Common Errors Made by Divorcing Spouses
Despite their best intentions, many divorcing spouses make serious mistakes during the divorce process. The most common and most costly mistake people make is in trying to handle legal issues without actually consulting with an experienced divorce lawyer. It is understandable to want to talk things over with a friend first, but unless your friend is also your divorce lawyer, you cannot substitute his or her advice for the professional counsel that a lawyer provides.
Similarly, it is an enormous mistake to enter into an agreement without consulting with an attorney. Sometimes, one spouse will hire a lawyer and the other spouse will decide to just go it alone to save money. This can be much more costly for the unrepresented spouse in the end when the divorce settlement inevitably favors the spouse who had an attorney.
Finally, while it is certainly understandable, procrastinating or dragging out unpleasant decisions can be a big mistake. While you are avoiding thinking about the case, your soon-to-be-ex-spouse may be using that time to make strategic decisions about property division or establishing a status quo (that does not favor you) for the purposes of child custody matters.
The best thing you can do for yourself is to hire an experienced attorney and face each decision in the divorce case as soon as possible.
Common Myths About Divorce in Oklahoma
There are many misconceptions held by the public about the divorce process in our state. Many people believe that property will be split up 50/50. This is not always the case. Sadly, many also believe that dads never get custody of the children. This is simply not true. Perhaps most insidious is the belief that hiring a divorce lawyer is just too expensive. The fact is that getting a divorce without representation will just about always cost more money in the end because of bad decisions that are made without the benefit of proper legal advice. We offer free initial consultations. If you are worried about any of these issues or anything else related to the divorce process, call our office today to make a no-obligation appointment.
Bryan Stratton’s Approach to Divorce
We understand that divorce is hard. Our goal is to provide professional and compassionate guidance throughout the divorce process. Furthermore, we believe in clear communication each step along the way.
At the Law Offices of Bryan Stratton, we are motivated by a passion for protecting our clients’ financial health and their parental rights. Give us a call today to schedule a free initial consultation.