Navigating a divorce can be painful, expensive and contentious. When selecting and retaining legal services, it’s important to consider an attorney’s experience, specializations, fee structure and reputation. We researched the best divorce lawyers in Tulsa who offer quality legal support through skilled staff and extensive family law knowledge.
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Oklahoma has one of the highest divorce rates in the nation. Around 13 percent of the state is divorced, and the state was second in divorce rate in 2017, behind only Nevada. Many Tulsa attorneys specialize in divorce, and choosing one can be a difficult and overwhelming process. It’s helpful to know how your divorce will proceed before beginning to narrow your options.
Types of divorces in Tulsa
Most divorces in Tulsa are no-fault, which means the filing party does not need to prove grounds such as adultery or abandonment for divorce. Under a no-fault divorce, the person asking for divorce only needs to claim irreconcilable differences between the spouses.
An uncontested divorce, which is one where the spouses agree on the terms of the divorce, is usually a straightforward process that only requires an attorney to review documents and ensure everything is filed correctly. If the spouses cannot agree on the terms of the divorce, common ways to finalize the settlement in Tulsa are:
Litigated divorce: A resolution method where the parties’ attorneys argue disputed issues in front of a judge in family court. The judge makes binding decisions on the divorce agreement.
Collaborative divorce: A legal process that allows couples to work with their lawyers to achieve a settlement that meets the needs of the divorcing couple and their children without going to court. If the parties cannot agree and move to litigation, they are required to hire new attorneys.
Divorce mediation: The spouses use a neutral third party as a mediator and attempt to work through issues surrounding custody, child support and asset division in a cost-effective, amicable way.
Divorce arbitration: Also uses a neutral third party to help settle issues, but unlike a mediator, an arbitrator is allowed to make binding decisions regarding divorce terms.
The cost of divorce lawyers in Tulsa
Most divorce lawyers charge hourly rates. The average price for a divorce attorney in Tulsa is $240 an hour, but rates range from $200 to $400 per hour or more, depending on the lawyer’s experience. The average cost for a divorce in Oklahoma is $12,500, with around $9,800 of that price going toward attorneys’ fees. Cases that require litigation for contentious issues can cost more than $20,000.
Most lawyers in Tulsa request a retainer, which is an upfront payment from which the lawyer withdraws their fees as your case proceeds. Retainers usually range from $2,500 to $10,000. Some lawyers may charge a flat fee for certain types of work, such as reviewing documents for a no-contest divorce.
Many local lawyers provide free consultations, which offers an opportunity to ask cost and billing questions. The consultation is also a time to ask about the attorney’s experience and decide whether you’re comfortable with them advocating for you.
Choosing a divorce lawyer in Tulsa
No two divorces are the same, so it’s crucial to select a lawyer who specializes in your specific needs. Most divorces involve one or more of the following: division of property and assets, division of debt, custody of children and alimony payments.
The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers recommends asking for referrals when choosing a divorce attorney. If you have close friends or relatives in Tulsa who have been through a divorce, you might ask them about their experience with their attorney. You can also ask other professionals, such as your accountant or lawyers who work in other fields.
After researching lawyers and selecting the one you want to hire, take time to discuss approaches to the case.
During your consultation, ask how much experience the lawyer has in the type of divorce you’re expecting. If you and your spouse have agreed to mediation, you don’t need an attorney who has made his reputation through litigation. Be sure the attorney is comfortable with any special circumstances in your case as well. For instance, if you have a minor child, you need a lawyer familiar with child custody and support agreements.
Other questions you might ask include:
Are there other attorneys or support staff who will work on my case?
Do you have experience with mediation and litigation?
What is the average cost for similar divorce cases you’ve handled?
What are the best and worst case scenarios in terms of property, custody, alimony and child support?
How often will you provide updates on my case?
How will you communicate with me? How quickly do you return phone calls or emails?
While experience and cost are important, you also want to make sure you’re comfortable with any attorney you hire. Divorces involve multiple personal issues, and it’s vital to be open and honest with your lawyer.
Once you’re ready to proceed, gather any documents your attorney may need, especially if minors are involved. You’ll want proof of income and a list of your expenses, assets and debts, which can include bank statements, retirement and investment details and credit card statements.
A. Craig Abrahamson Law
Craig Abrahamson's mission is to provide quality, affordable family law services in a timely, attentive manner. Abrahamson is dedicated to understanding clients' needs and goals. With years of experience in the courtroom, the firm represents clients who need an aggressive fighter in their corner or a caring, compassionate advocate they can trust.
Hensley & Associates
Hensley Legal Services has a team of attorneys and paralegals who offer legal support in family law cases involving divorce, meditation, child custody, support alimony and division of assets. Reviewers in Tulsa commend the firm for its knowledgeable staff who keep their clients informed throughout the process.
With four decades of experience in family law, Todd Alexander’s areas of practice include divorce, child custody, guardianship and paternity. The firm provides complimentary consultations and accepts credit card payments for retained services. Reviewers in Tulsa say Todd Alexander and his staff are professional and proactive.
Moura Robertson Family Law
Moura Robertson has practiced family law in Tulsa for more than 20 years and specializes in the negotiation and litigation of divorce, division of assets, support alimony, child custody and visitation. In 2016, Moura Robertson was ranked one of 10 Best Female Attorneys by American Institute of Family Law Attorneys for client satisfaction.
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