Wagoner Divorce, Paternity, & Custody Lawyer
When you must confront family law matters, you want to do what is best for your loved ones and you want to ensure that your rights are protected. Wirth Law Office – Wagoner family law attorneys can help. If you need legal representation in one of the following areas, call our reliable family law attorney at (918) 485-0335 for a free consultation:
Divorce without Children (Agreed or Contested)
Divorce with Children (Agreed or Contested)
Child Support Enforcement
Child Support Defense
Custody / Visitation Modifications
DHS Custody / Deprived Child Allegations
Can I Represent myself?
Yes, you have the legal right to represent yourself in a family law matter. But, that does not mean that you have the knowledge, experience, and ability to effectively represent yourself. By law, parties representing themselves are held to the same standard as attorneys. A person who appears in court pro se in a family law case is expected to understand not only the law, but also the Court’s procedures.
Understanding these procedural matters can be a very high burden for someone without the benefit of law school, without the experience of handling hundreds of prior divorces, or having no familiarity with the court, the judge, the bailiff, and the court clerk.
What if we are in complete agreement.
Some people represent themselves in their divorce if there is a complete agreement on the terms. If you are considering this option, there are a few things of which you need to be aware: You will be required to draft pleadings and paperwork that complies with Oklahoma law and the Court’s procedures. Additionally, the court will not draft its order. You will be required to draft that document as well.
Due to the complexity in the law and the court’s procedures, even the most ambitious self-file typically hires a drafting service to create the pleadings and orders. This costs sometimes hundreds of dollars and gives many people a false sense of security.
If during the process of divorce, any change in the agreement or disagreement arises, the money you paid to the drafting service is wasted, because new documents must be drafted. Also, just because every blank on the drafting service’s form is filled in, does not mean that your pleadings and orders are complete. Every divorce and family law case is different and a family law attorney’s job is to flush out all of the issues and make sure they are addressed. A drafting service job is simply to fill in the typical blanks.
I cannot tell you how many people have come to me to modify the Decree that was drafted by one of these services — after it has been entered by the Court. Some times property that was left out became the cause for a fight. Other times the language regarding custody and visitation was not specific enough and lead to fighting. I often have to explain to people that in most circumstances orders regarding property division cannot be modified.
My recommendation in the scenario of an agreed divorce is to invest a bit more up front to get an attorney rather than the drafting service. Get full service representation and reliable legal advice. It is often cheaper in the end.
The Benefits of Experienced, Local Counsel
Experienced Family Law Attorney
The laws concerning family law are different from state to state and are molded from Oklahoma statutes and case law published by the Oklahoma Supreme Court and the Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals. A year rarely goes by without legislative changes affecting family law in Oklahoma and substantial changes to the law are not uncommon, like in 2009 when the Oklahoma Child Support Guidelines were overhauled.
You need a family law attorney who is experienced and up-to-date on the current state of the law. Wirth Law Office attorney, James M. Wirth, created and published the first online child support calculator updated to the new 2009 laws. It is this type of ingenuity and trailblazing that you can expect from the family law attorneys at the Wirth Law Office – Wagoner.
Local Family Law Lawyer
Besides the Oklahoma statutes affecting family law issues in Wagoner County, Oklahoma, there are also Local Rules and judicial preferences specific to Wagoner County District Court. For example Wagoner County has a Family Orientation court appearance for cases involving custody of children. This docket is unique to Wagoner County. Additionally, many of the laws relevant to family law, either give the judge wide discretion to make decisions or are vague and describing what the law requires.
For this reason a judge in Oklahoma County could decide a matter completely different than a judge in Tulsa County. It is essential that you have a local attorney familiar with your court and your judge. Call today for a free consultation about family law in Wagoner County, Oklahoma at (918) 485-0335.
For a free consultation with a Wagoner Oklahoma family law attorney call the Wirth Law Office – Wagoner at (918) 485-0335 (or toll free at (888) Wirth-Law). Or, as always, you may enter a legal question in the form at the top right of this page.