Family Law FAQ
Using a Team Approach to Address Your Legal Challenges
If you are dealing with a family law issue, there is no need to go through it alone. Having a competent attorney at your side will ensure your rights are protected and the best interests for both you and your children are taken into consideration.
The skilled Oklahoma City family law attorneys at Simmons & Associates, PLLC can provide you with caring and effective legal representation throughout the entire process. During our 75+ combined years in the legal field, we have found that our clients’ questions and concerns often overlapped, and we have listed the most common among them below.
What does “family law” cover?
Legal issues pertaining to families and emotional ties are complicated, and as a result the subject of family law is vast and complex. It includes everything before marriage, including prenuptial and premarital agreements, what follows at the end of a marriage including divorce and custody arrangements, and everything in between.
Family law issues are often extremely emotionally-charged, so if your family is going through a troubled time, you want a lawyer who is both experienced and compassionate. At Simmons & Associates, PLLC, our attorneys understand the turmoil you may be enduring. We know that breakups are difficult under any circumstance, and the legal process shouldn’t make them more so.
Do I need a divorce lawyer? Can’t I do it on my own?
You always have the option of representing yourself in a divorce. But by doing so you run the risk of not having all of your bases covered and the marriage ending in a way that isn’t to your benefit, especially if your spouse has a powerful attorney on his or her side.
The Oklahoma City family law and divorce lawyers at Simmons & Associates, PLLC are dedicated to all of our clients’ best interests, and we won’t rest until your case is completed. We approach every case as if it will be solved peacefully, but are still prepared to take things to trial as needed. Our goal is to guide our clients through this difficult time in their lives so they can come out the other end feeling empowered and optimistic.
Contact us today if you need high-quality legal assistance in your family law matters. Don’t delay!
What is the divorce process in Oklahoma?
Most divorce proceedings go through a similar series of steps, though of course each situation is uniquely different. A divorce in Oklahoma usually begins when a Petition of Dissolution is filed by one spouse in the proper jurisdiction. The other spouse is then served with a copy of the petition, a Summons and an Automatic Temporary Injunction, which defines what can or cannot happen pending further orders from the court.
The other party must then file an Answer or counter petition within 20 days of being served. Often an Application for Temporary Orders will be submitted, which gives time to resolve issues between the parties until a final Decree can be entered. The discovery process follows, and a settlement, if possible, is reached shortly after. If a settlement can’t be reached, a trial on the merits of the case will be presented before the assigned judge.
The length of the trial depends on the issues involved, but most take anywhere from one day to one week. A finalized Decree of Dissolution is the end result, finalizing the divorce and laying out the rules for child support, spousal support, visitation, and division of property or other necessary actions.
What is the divorce process in Texas?
Divorces in Texas typically go through the same steps, though of course every situation is unique and may have different outcomes. First, one spouse must file an Original Petition for Divorce with the jurisdiction in which he or she resides. Copies of the petition are then served to the other spouse, who has 20 days to file an official response, called an Answer.
A Temporary Restraining Order may also be filed at the time of the original petition, which is a legal request that requires assets to not disappear before they can be divided by the court and that both spouses will act civilly toward one another. Discovery is the next step, which is the process of exchanging documents and information between the spouses.
If a settlement can be agreed upon, an Agreed Decree of Divorce will be drafted. If there are any disagreements at all, a trial will be scheduled. Mediation is required before any divorce goes to trial to try and resolve the disagreements. If that fails, the case will go to trial, and at the trial’s end a Final Decree of Divorce will be presented for the judge’s signature. In Texas, a divorce will not be finalized for at least 60 days following the initial filing of the Original Petition for Divorce.
What is “discovery”?
Discovery is the process of learning everything we can about your case by asking the other side questions they have to answer, or requesting documents. The process is often the most time consuming of your case, and may involve depositions which are sworn interviews taken by us, or the other side. We will make sure you’re fully aware of what is happening in the discovery process, and you will be asked to participate and assist in preparing and responding to all discovery requests. If you have additional questions, your assigned attorneys will be happy to explain further.
How much is my family law case going to cost?
Every family law case is different, therefore it is sometimes difficult to place a one-size-fits all price on each case. It has been said that no one would buy a car if they didn’t know the price beforehand, which is very true. However, there are a lot of different cars on the lot and each of them has a different sticker price. The price is based on the bells and whistles you require.
We offer two price options when you visit for your consultation. The first is a traditional hourly fee pricing model. This means that you pay only for the time that is put into your case at the hourly rate of each person providing services. The hourly rates for our attorneys range from $175 to $300 per hour. You will be asked to deposit an initial retainer payment which will be billed against as your case proceeds. You will be asked to replenish this retainer as it is diminished, and if there is money in your client trust account at the conclusion of your case, it will be refunded to you.
The second is a quoted fee for the entirety of your case through a pretrial conference. This will be quoted to you at the time of your consult and will be a fixed fee that will not be based upon the hours or time involved in your case. Each family law case is different, and the trial attorney on your case will determine the quote based on their experience with similar cases in the past.
Are you ready to begin? Call our team of Oklahoma City family lawyers today at (855) 973-8877.
Advanced Technology to Improve Client Experience
Wherever possible, we incorporate technology to help improve workflows and communication. This helps us maintain efficiency and our stellar quality.
Clients Come First, Customer Service Oriented Approach
Every client is a person with a unique story and situation. We tailor our strategies to align with your goals while also safeguarding your best interests.
We Take a Team Approach to Every Case
We're in this together. We want to hear your thoughts prior to taking a course of action. You also have the full support of our team.
Over 65 Years of Combined Experience on Your Side
Our team has the versatile, in-depth experience to help see your case through from start to finish. We're here to guide you through every step.