Chapter 1: FIRST, BEFORE YOU GO ANY FURTHER

The "real" first thoughts a person contemplating divorce should consider are not developed here. This document is about law - it does not delve into the most intimate personal relationship most people have: a marriage between a husband and a wife. The author is not a marriage counselor and neither this chapter nor the document as a whole gives personal or religious advice about fixing marriages that are damaged. For that, consult your priest, minister, counselor and/or friends, if you have not already done so. The dissolution of marriage is profoundly important not only to the marital partners, but, as importantly, to their children, as well as to society at large. If you have not already done these things, please do so.

The "first thoughts" discussed in this chapter are legal matters:

   The Adversarial Nature of Divorce and the Finality of Judgments.  Like most litigation, divorce,  even if based on an agreement, is adversarial in nature. And, when a judgment is entered ending a marriage, that judgment is a done deal.  Both of these notions should receive serious attention by a person contemplating, or already involved in, divorce. You don't get "overs."

   The Divorce Kit Do-It-Yourself Mentality.  This discusses this author's view that divorce-kit sellers are practicing law and the risks associated by a "client's" decision to take this route. Do "clients" of divorce kit sellers have any recourse against them for damages related to their services?

   Lawyers and the Attorney/Client Relationship. This section discusses lawyers and various aspects the attorney client relationship: What good are they? Why does divorce law hve to be so complicated? What do you need to know about the attorney/client relationship ... who makes what decisions, how do the client's and the lawyer's roles differ? What happens when the relationship is terminated and who can do it? How might a client select a lawyer? What about attorney fee contracts in Oklahoma? What liens might lawyers claim for their unpaid fees? What are some great lawyer movies?

   Mediation.  What is mediation and what are its rules? Is mediation a good option to consider? What are Oklahoma's laws about divorce mediation?