Divorce is complex. First, the two people involved may be dealing with
years of emotional history. As a result, decisions that might otherwise
be made on the basis of negotiation and compromise rise to the level of
statements about who said what, who did what, and who owes what to whom.
Second are the legal issues in working with a divorce attorney. Orange
County spouses that choose to divorce are often uncertain about the legal
steps they must take, both to dissolve the marriage and to protect themselves
in the process.
Third, and not insignificantly, are the financial considerations. Both
people in the marriage are likely to have assets with which they entered
the relationship as well as holdings that were created during the course
of their time together. Sometimes, both couples are aware of everything
that they own together. In other cases, there is less transparency.
Fourth, there may be children involved in the process. This means that
the two spouses must find a way to resolve their settlement while taking
into account issues such as custody, visitation rights, and child support.
Given this and other complexities, clients are often unsure of what to
expect when they first decide to work with a divorce attorney.
Orange County’s Douglas McKeague has almost thirty years of experience
as an OC family law attorney. When he works with clients, he helps them
to understand the process they are about to undertake. Here is a brief overview:
Initial telephone conversation with the divorce attorney. Orange County residents are encouraged to call Douglas’ office and
to schedule a free consultation. Ideally, the potential client will be
able to meet as soon as possible so that he or she can avoid making legal
mistakes in the interim.
Free consultation. Douglas meets with the potential client to learn more about his or her
circumstances. This is an important time for the two to establish needs
and wants, to identify the possibility for an amicable settlement, and
to set a strategy for the divorce proceedings moving forward.
Next steps. Once the individual has decided to have Douglas become his or her representative,
more specific planning can begin. This will likely include collecting
necessary legal and financial information, scheduling conferences with
the opposing attorney, and, if required, planning for trial.
Because divorce can be an emotionally-charged, draining experience, Douglas
focuses on supporting his clients at every turn. He emphasizes a thoughtful,
calm approach to negotiations. One of his goals is to help the client
avoid anxiety and to prevent creating additional problems at home, which
will likely only hinder the outcome of the divorce proceedings. He achieves
this goal not only in the way that he plans casework, but also by making
himself available to clients for questions and concerns throughout the
process of settlement.