One of the questions that we are asked all the time at LaCourse Law is, 'do I have to go to court to be divorced?' And the answer is… kind of. Here's what we mean by that.
In every single domestic case, the start and end of the case are the same. Meaning, we file a petition, and it ends in a decree. However, this is about as similar as family law cases get. What happens in-between the filing of a petition and decree can vary wildly.
There are some cases that are absolutely litigated all throughout the process. For instance, if your case has no agreements, where someone is obstinate, unreasonable, unruly, unfair, and tries to leverage, manipulate, and utilize bullying tactics, then the reality is that you're going to need somebody to stand up for you. The only way that's going to happen is going through a court process. This type of case does not happen every time.
In other cases, we're able to file a petition, which is done through paper. We then go through a process with our clients called mediation, or simply agreement negotiation. At this time, parties can agree to the terms, principles, division of property, visitation, custody, or support. We then make sure that we take those agreements and check to see if they follow the form of Oklahoma courts. We make sure they identify every single issue that, as a matter of law, needs to be included in that agreement. This is where a lot of people fail. If you gain an agreement and do not check that you've identified every single issue that needs to be included then try to file an agreement with the court, the agreement is no longer supported if issues come up. This is why we make sure that your agreements follow what the legal procedures and the legal processes require. Once we have everything above, and every party has signed. In the current court system today, we're able to file what's called an affidavit of jurisdiction.
Previously, filing an affidavit of jurisdiction meant that we would have had to go to court to enter all the legal requirements. However, in today's court, filing an affidavit of jurisdiction means that we take a piece of paper where we set out all the legal requirements. We then have that paper and decree entered and signed by the court. So, there are mechanisms in the current court system today that will allow you to never step foot into the court room from start to finish in very complicated cases. To do so, it usually requires skillful technique, lots of communication, and agreements between the parties. If we can do that, then we can make sure that you never actually have to go to court, and have to argue your case before a judge.
However, as stated above, there are other times when you need a warrior to stand up for you, so that you don't get bullied, manipulated, or taken advantage of. In either one of those scenarios, we'd be happy and honored to talk about your matter with you and see if we can assist you in resolving your claim. If you have other questions about your domestic matter, feel free to contact us at lacourselaw.com, or call us at 918-744-7100.