Oklahoma Family Law Attorneys Share 6 Tips for Reducing Divorce Related Stress

Divorce can be an emotional roller coaster. The stress and anxiety of a divorce can start before the decision to file is made and can linger on well after the divorce is finalized. The key to surviving and even thriving during this difficult process is to learn how to cope.  The following are a few tips to help you better deal with divorce related stress.

  • Stop and breathe: Once the divorce process begins, it can feel like you are slowly losing control over all aspects of your life. If you start feeling this way it is important to stop and take a deep breath. Try to make a written list of all of the things that are causing you to worry. Once the list is complete, go back and write down at least one thing you can to address that stressor. For example, if you are worried about an upcoming mediation session, make a note to call your attorney and have him or her address your concerns and answer your questions.
  • Do not sweat the small things: The divorce process can feel like a series of battles in a long war. However, like anything worth fighting for, it is important to keep your eyes on the prize. Do not try to “win” each and every battle. Try to focus on your goals and those things most important to you. A good attorney will also help you identify and assess which “battles” you are likely to win and the others that may prove more difficult. It is not wise to spend time worrying about things that you have absolutely no control over.
  • Take care of yourself: If divorce is a marathon, then you are an athlete. Which means that you need to care of yourself, so that you can make it to the finish line. Take steps to eat right and get plenty of sleep. Exercise or any type of physical activity is not only a great way to take care of yourself, but can also help you cope with stress as well. Yoga, meditation, or going for a brisk walk can give you some much needed time alone to think.
  • Remember that it is okay to seek help: If you are feeling overwhelmed by the divorce process it may be a good idea to seek help. Find a divorce support group or a therapist with whom you can openly express your feelings. If neither of these options is right for you, trying talking about your situation with a supportive friend or family member.
  • Make time for fun: At times the divorce process can feel like a second job. But it is important to make time for fun! Schedule activities to do with your children or plan outings with loved ones. An afternoon or evening spent doing an activity that you enjoy will help keep your spirits up.
  • Hire the right attorney: One of the best ways to have a less stressful divorce is to select an experienced divorce attorney that you can trust. A skilled divorce attorney will be able to guide you through the divorce process and try to keep your divorce running as smooth as possible.

Unfortunately for the divorce process can be stressful. That is why it is important to work with an experienced family law attorney who can help guide you through the process. The Handley Law Center has handled countless divorce cases and working with a team of seasoned professionals can make the divorce process a lot easier. To schedule a free and completely confidential consultation with one of our caring family law attorneys, contact The Handley Law Center today at (405) 295-1924. Our Oklahoma Family Law Attorneys will take the time to make sure you understand your rights and that your case is handled efficiently.

Drowsy Drivers Pose a Serious Threat to Motorist Safety in Oklahoma

Drivers who operate a vehicle while drowsy are not only a danger to themselves and their passengers, but they also pose a threat to the occupants of the other vehicles on the road with them. Accidents involving a fatigued driver usually are some of the most serious accidents in terms of injury, loss of life, and damage to property. This is because usually the drowsy driver does not or more appropriately cannot, make any effort to avoid the crash.

For example, in early September in Love County a Kansas man fell asleep at the wheel while driving on an Oklahoma interstate. The man’s vehicle crossed a barrier, veered into the median, and struck a motorist traveling in the opposite direction. The man was treated at a local hospital for minor injuries and later released. His passenger on the other hand, needed to be removed from the vehicle using the Jaws of Life. She was taken to a nearby hospital via helicopter. The woman is thought to have suffered injuries to her leg. The two adult occupants of the other vehicle were also treated at a local hospital and later released. Fortunately, the two minor children who were also in the other vehicle, were not harmed in the accident.

The obvious rule when it comes to preventing drowsy driving accidents is for motorists to not drive when fatigued. The inherent problem with this rule is that it is difficult for a drowsy driver to be able to accurately assess his or her level of fatigue. In fact, the more fatigued a driver becomes, the more his or her ability to be able to self-assess deteriorates. But there are warning signs a driver should look for that indicate he or she is becoming fatigued, including:

  • Near constant yawning
  • Closing of eyes for moments
  • Eyes going out of focus
  • Drifting within the lane, between lanes or onto the shoulder
  • Problems focusing on the road
  • Poor reaction times
  • Inability to remember the last few seconds or minutes
  • Head nodding
  • Eye rubbing
  • Tailgating
  • Random speeding or inability to travel at a constant speed

Driver is fatigue is estimated to be the cause behind more than 30 percent of motor vehicle accidents. The good news is that like drinking and driving, driving while fatigued is preventable. Follow these tips to help ensure that you are not a drowsy driver:

  • Obtain adequate rest by keeping a regular sleep schedule.
  • Do not drive during hours that you would normally be asleep, for most people this would be from 12 am to 6 am.
  • If you begin to feel drowsy, pull your vehicle off the road and to a well-lit spot, like a gas station or parking lot. Avoid simply stopping on the side of road, which can be very dangerous.
  • When planning a long trip, try to start early in the morning and make sure to schedule regular stops to stretch, eat a light snack and have something to drink.
  • If traveling a long distance, when possible, share the driving with another driver.
  • Do not operate a motor vehicle if you are taking medication that can cause drowsiness until you know how the medication affects you.

 If you or a loved one sustained injuries after a motor vehicle accident caused by a drowsy driver, please know that you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. For more than 30 years the experienced team of Oklahoma Injury Attorneys at The Handle Law Center have diligently fought on behalf of injury victims. To schedule a free and completely confidential consultation with one of our seasoned injury attorneys, please contact The Handley Law Center at (405) 295-1924. At The Handley Law Center we take pride in providing injury victims with top-notch legal services.

Best Defensive Driving Practices to Keep You Safe on Oklahoma Roadways

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), over 2 million people were injured in automobile traffic crashes in 2012. The NHTSA estimates that nationwide 33,500 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes on American roads. Of these fatalities, more than 700 occurred in the State of Oklahoma. While most drivers understand that driving poses a danger, they often do not think there is much they can do to make driving any safer.

One way to help keep you and your passengers safe while navigating the roadways, is to become a better defensive driver. While defensive driving may sound complicated, it is simply a method of safe driving that helps motorists identify and avoid potential hazards. Defensive driving, includes incorporating techniques into your driving skill set, such as:

  • Keep your eyes on the prize (and your hands on the wheel): Defensive drivers do not use one hand to gingerly grip the steering wheel while using the other hand to tune the radio or sip a latte. Any good defensive driver knows that his or her hands need to be at the 10 o’clock and 2 o’clock position on the wheel. He or she also understands that a distracted driver is a dangerous driver. This means that he or she does not engage in any activities that take his or her eyes of the road, hands off the wheel, or thoughts off the road. This includes no eating, applying make-up or using a cell phone (regardless of the whether the activity is legal or illegal).
  • Be aware of your surroundings: Defensive drivers are always aware of their surroundings. Their eyes scan the road ahead to make sure they are maintaining an adequate following distance. Defensive drivers are also checking their rear view mirrors to ensure they are not driving in another vehicle’s blind spot. A defensive driver will also adapt his or her driving to match the current road conditions.
  • Keep his or her cool: Depending on the traffic pattern and weather conditions, driving can be downright stressful. Part of learning to drive more defensively, is develop ways to keep your cool and to not let an aggressive driver get the best of you.
  • Plan ahead: Another big part of defensive driving involves proper planning. A good defensive driver not only checks the weather before setting out on the road, but also finds out current road conditions, including traffic and accidents.

Defensive driving techniques are a real asset to any motorist. By driving in a more defensive manner, motorists can help reduce their risk of being involved in a potentially life threatening accident. Motorists who complete an approved defensive driving class, which are sometimes available online, maybe able to receive a discount on their car insurance.

While no class or set of skills can completely safeguard you from an accident, knowing that you have the best skills available, will help you feel more relaxed and confident about driving on the roadways.

The compassionate attorneys at The Handley Law Center understand the numerous ways a car accident can impact a person’s life. If you or a loved one was injured or killed in a car or truck accident, you need a skilled Oklahoma Injury Attorney who is prepared to fight until justice is served. The seasoned Oklahoma Injury Attorneys at The Handley Law Center are more than ready to do whatever is necessary to help you obtain the compensation you deserve. To schedule a free and completely confidential consultation with one of our injury attorneys, contact The Handley Law Center today at (405) 295-1924.

Oklahoma Parents: How to Survive Your First Post-Divorce Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving for many people marks the beginning of the holiday season. If you are recently divorced, it may be the first time in years that you are not following your regular Thanksgiving tradition. It may also the first holiday spent without your children as most custody agreements have parent’s alternate holidays. These two things can cause some newly divorce parents a lot of stress. If this Thanksgiving is causing you anxiety, here are some tips to make the day easier on both you and your children:

If your children will be with the other parent…

  • Do not create guilt regarding “sharing”: Talk to your children well in advance of Thanksgiving to prepare them to spend the holiday with the other parent. If your child is feeling anxious or upset, try to assure him or her that they will have lots of fun with the other parent. It is okay to tell them you will miss them, but remind him or her of your plans and that you will see them very soon. Remember that the children did not ask for the divorce, so do not make them feel bad for having to spend time with the other parent.
  • Be flexible with scheduling if possible: If your ex calls you at the last minute to say that he or she needs to pick up the children earlier or later than planned, try to be flexible. Becoming angry or uncivil, especially in front of your children, will only make this day more difficult for them.
  • Plan your own Thanksgiving: It is okay to feel sad about losing your Thanksgiving traditions. However, when you are ready to, it can be a great thing to put your energy into making new traditions. Perhaps in years the children will spend with the other parent, you can have a special pre or post-Thanksgiving celebration with them. This can be a great way to show your children that you can and should be “thankful” every day of the year— not just on Thanksgiving Day.
  • Try to enjoy your time without the children: If you will be “solo” for Thanksgiving, try to make the most of your time. One option is to spend the day with friends and family. You can also spend the day enjoying some alone time. The choice is up to you!

If you have your children with you…

  • Acknowledge your children’s feelings: While you may be happy that your children will be spending the holiday with you, he or she may feel sad about missing out on time with the other parent. Listening and acknowledging your children’s feelings can go far. Another way to ease some of his or her anxieties, is to have your child call and talk to the other parent. 
  • Do not speak unkindly of your ex: Well-meaning family members may want to discuss your divorce or how you are doing post-divorce as dinner conversation. Try to avoid this type of an adult conversation in front of your children. You also need to avoid speaking unfavorably of your ex while your children are within ear shot.

Remember, that first holiday post-divorce can be difficult, but with time it should become easier.

 If you are experiencing problems with your ex post divorce, make the decision to speak with an experienced Oklahoma Family Law Attorney. Only a seasoned Oklahoma Family Law Attorney can review your parenting agreement and advise you on your legal options. At The Handley Law Center, we understand that even though your divorce has been finalized, problems can still arise. To see how our team of family law attorneys can help modify or enforce the terms of your existing parenting agreement, contact The Handley Law Center at (405) 295-1924 to schedule a free and completely confidential consultation.

Oklahoma Family Law Attorneys Answer the Most Common FAQs about Prenuptial Agreements

Prenuptial agreements are not something for only the rich and the famous. Many ‘regular’ folks also opt to enter into prenuptial agreements. If you are planning to tie the knot soon, the thought of a prenuptial agreement can be rather overwhelming. For some, contemplating what would be happen in case of a divorce, is the ultimate jinx for a bad marriage. However, many people see a prenuptial less as a black fly in their chardonnay and more like an insurance policy. If you have even the slightest notion that a prenuptial agreement is right for you, then you owe it to yourself to talk with an experienced Oklahoma family law attorney. A skilled attorney can help answer your questions so that you can decide if a prenuptial agreement can help you. In the meantime, here are the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about Oklahoma prenuptial agreements:

What is a prenuptial agreement and are the agreements valid in Oklahoma?

A prenuptial or antenuptial agreement is a contract that is entered into by two people planning to marry, prior to the marriage. The main purpose of a prenuptial agreement is to address the property rights of each spouse in the event the parties divorce. Prenuptial agreements are valid in Oklahoma, if they meet certain criteria. First, prenuptial agreements must be in writing and cannot be entered into under duress or coercion. To be considered valid a prenuptial agreement must also be fair, it cannot be one-sided, and it can be the result of fraud.

Why do some couples opt for a prenuptial agreement?

There are many reasons why couples decide to utilize a prenuptial agreement. One reason is that people are choosing to marry later in life, as a first or a second marriage, and want to protect the assets that he or she will bring into the marriage. Another reason that a couple may want a prenuptial agreement is to avoid property disputes in the event the parties do file for divorce. Parties that divorce without a valid prenuptial agreement, will have their marital property divided in a manner that a judge finds to be “just and reasonable”. While this may be fine for some couples, others enter into a prenuptial agreement to eliminate some of the uncertainty.

Can a prenuptial agreement address child custody issues?

There are certain areas that a prenuptial agreement cannot address and the biggest of these areas relates to children. While the parties may be in agreement as to how custody and visitation will work in the event of a divorce, these issues cannot be addressed in a prenuptial agreement. Court do not allow these issues to be addressed in a prenuptial agreement because it is nearly impossible to predict what the right form of custody and visitation until the situation actually arises.

Can my fiancé and I use the same attorney to draft the prenuptial agreement?

While you and your future spouse may both have the same ideas about how the prenuptial agreement should be drafted, it is necessary for each person to have his or her own attorney. Like in a divorce, an attorney can only represent one party, since the parties interests are not the same.

If you are planning on getting marriage and are wondering if a prenuptial agreement is right for you, take the time to meet with a seasoned Oklahoma Family Law Attorney. Only experienced Oklahoma Family Law Attorneys have the knowledge to help you determine if an antenuptial agreement can help protect your assets. To schedule a free and completely confidential consultation, contact The Handley Law Center today at (405) 295-1924. One of our skilled family attorneys will take the time to answer your questions.