How to Protect Yourself, Your Children And Your Assets in a Divorce!
1.- Custody of Your Children You have kids you’re certainly concerned about your relationship with your son or daughter. After all, especially now when you and your spouse are splitting up, your chldren are the most important people in your life. So you need to know what the possibilities are for custody. The judge has a responsibility to insure the welfare of the children. Just like in the old days, custody of very young children is usually awarded to the mother most of the time. However, consideration is given to both. Of course it makes a difference if the mother can be shown not to be a "fit" mother for various reasons. When one parent is awarded custody, this is known as "sole custody". However, Joint custody where both parents share custody is also a possibility. But both mother and father have to agree to this. The court can't order you to have joint custody. So if one parent doesn’t agree to this, the judge will award sole custody to one of the parents.
2.- Division of Property If you and your ex can't agree on things like who gets the house, cars, furniture, and dog, the judge will decide at the trial who gets what. He or she will also decide who gets what debts. There is no specific formula for this division of property, but the judge is supposed to divide the property "fairly". Some property is not considered in the division, such as something inherited before marriage. Determining what property is included can be very difficult. Therefore, it makes a difference how well your lawyer presents your side of the case.
3.- Grounds for divorce Most states allow grounds to include adultery, incarceration, one spouse being incompetent, or if one spouse has deserted the other. In Oklahoma, the most common grounds are incompatibility. Also, most states have their own requirements for how long it takes before divorce is final. In Oklahoma, you can't remarry for at least 6 months after the divorce decree is signed.
4.- Alimony The judge can award alimony to either the husband or the wife. Significant factors the judge uses to determine who gets it and how much and how long include: the length of the marriage, both spouse’s respective incomes, and the other spouse's ability to pay. In order for you to get a fair shake when it comes to alimony, your attorney must be persuasive and present your side of the situation well.
5.- Child Support In Oklahoma there are formulas to determine the amount of child support based upon the number of children and each spouse's income. However, child support payments can change when the income of the paying spouse changes.
6.- Temporary Order Normally the judge will grant a temporary order to determine custody, who lives where, and who will pay support, child support, and debts and how much, until the final the Final Decree decides these things permanently.
7.- Separate Maintenance This is a court order providing for you and your spouse to live apart without divorce. It is instead of divorce. You may want to do this if you’re both not sure you want a divorce but you want a formal agreement on how to handle things while you’re living apart.
Another thing to consider is whether you can or should get an annulment instead of a divorce. An experienced attorney can discuss this possibility with you.
Most of these issues are up to the judge hearing your case to decide. Only the child support issue has a set formula. And the judge's decisions are influenced by how good your attorney is at presenting your side of the issues and how persuasive he is
So, if you want the best chance of getting a fair shake in your divorce and not lose everything you've worked so hard for including your relationship with your kids don't trust your future happiness with just any lawyer.
You need someone who can fight for you if the other side tries to take advantage of you. Sure... You don't need an attorney who will stir up trouble just for the heck of it... But you do need a lawyer who won't let the other side walk all over you!
You see, just because your marriage may be ending, doesn't mean your life or your chance for happiness should end.
That's why you must carefully choose the attorney that represents you in this important life-changing event.
In my 30 + years of practicing law, I have discovered there are at least 3 key questions you should ask to make sure you get the right lawyer for your case.
One of the questions you should ask the lawyer is "How many years has he practiced law?"
The longer he has practiced law, the more expert knowledge he will have about... not only the laws, but as importantly, he will know the other lawyers and judges and how they operate--- so he can figure out the best strategy for your case.
The second question you should ask is "How many trials has he handled?" You want someone who has tried a lot of cases, ideally 100 or more. The reason this is important is because your lawyer may have to fight for custody of your kids or for your property by going to trial. Although you hope that everything can be worked out without a trial, often the spouse you thought you knew so well turns into someone else when divorce papers are filed. They can become bitter, angry and totally unreasonable. So it's important to have an attorney who's prepared to go to trial and fight for your rights. I have handled several hundred trials.
The third question you should ask is whether the lawyer is a "certified trial attorney" by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. What this means to you is that the lawyer knows what he is doing in a trial. Only a handful of lawyers in the state of Oklahoma have this designation. And I happen to be one of those few.
Another question you should ask is "Will the lawyer give you at least a monthly update on your case" so that you can be kept informed about your situation. I provide you with an update guarantee.
And if you would like to talk to me about your case, I will give you a FREE 30 minute legal examination if you call me within 11 days of receiving divorce papers from your spouse, to schedule your appointment. That way you can visit with me about your case before you spend any money. Just call me at 728-8223.
If I'm in trial, I'll get back to you within 48 hours. I want you to know that even though I have allowed a certain amount of time for some of these FREE legal examinations, my busy schedule may not allow me to take your case (There is only 1 of me and my time is limited - so calling right away will improve your chances!) So if you put this off and call too late, don't be surprised if I have to recommend some other attorneys as second choices.
Ed Geary, Attorney at Law
5601 NW 72nd Street
P.S. Just pick up the phone and call my office at 405-728-8223 within 11 days of receiving divorce papers from your spouse, to schedule your FREE 30 minute legal examination. And, if after the Free 30 Minute Legal examination, you don't think I'm the right attorney for you, YOU WILL OWE ME ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. No hassles and No Hard Feelings! So you really have nothing to lose!