If you have reached the end of your rope and wish to file for divorce in Oklahoma, you have likely begun the process of trying to find an attorney to represent you. Perhaps you have searched the internet or have asked around the office for a referral. When going through the process of looking for an attorney, keep in mind that there is no way to tell whether they are being truly honest about their abilities simply from reading their advertisements. For instance, some attorneys may claim to be highly skilled, seasoned or experienced however, having only represented a few clients in family law matters certainly does not rise to this level. Additionally, some attorneys claims to “guarantee results” yet in the law, there is no way to truly predict the outcome of a case.
In general, there are several important qualifications that an attorney should have when representing clients in Oklahoma domestic law proceedings. These are as follows:
- Only work with a family law attorney who has the experience necessary to take your case. A seasoned attorney that has had numerous years of family practice under his or her belt is preferable to one that has little to no experience. Specifically, only a skilled attorney knows the ins and outs of the courtroom, how to handle opposing counsel, and can effectively tackle all of the challenging and highly contested aspects of your case. While you may save more money with an attorney who isn’t seasoned in family law, you could end up sacrificing your rights as a result.
- Don’t get drawn in by fancy advertisements, promises that seem “too good to be true”, or aggressive marketing schemes. Just because a lawyer spends a lot of money or time on marketing his or her services does not make them more qualified than others. In fact, the ideal attorney is often one who relies upon his or her solid reputation in the community (i.e. via word of mouth) to obtain new clients.
- Only hire a lawyer that takes the time to explain your case in a manner that is clear, concise and easy to understand. When a lawyer explains things in layman’s terms, it enables you to make informed decisions in your case. If you meet with a lawyer who does not boil things down into terms that you can understand, it is likely best to take your business elsewhere.
- Do not work with an attorney that is cryptic about his or her fees. Although it is not always possible for an attorney to tell you the exact cost of your case before it starts, you should know how much they charge (i.e., whether it be a flat fee or hourly billing arrangement). Moreover, you should be advised upfront about all of the applicable court costs and other fees associated with your case.
- Always work with an attorney who is patient, compassionate and willing to address your concerns in a respectful manner. Every attorney has a different style of working with clients and that is why it is essential to find one that you can get along with and who can meet your needs.
- Check your attorney’s records. Only work with an attorney who maintains a status of “good standing.” This means that the attorney does not have any license suspensions or pending professional responsibility complaints. You can search the Oklahoma Bar Association’s website as well as the internet in general to obtain further information about your lawyer.
If you are thinking about getting a divorce in Oklahoma, or are facing any other type of family law matter, The Handley Law Center for a free and completely confidential consultation. You can also contact us during normal business hours at 405-295-1924 to schedule an appointment. When you meet with us, we will take the time necessary to examine the facts of your case, advise you of your rights and responsibilities as well as discuss all of your legal options. Don’t wait to obtain the representation you deserve. We look forward to helping you with all of your family law needs.