6 Things a Divorce Attorney Won’t Tell You

If you can manage it, get through your divorce with as little family law industry personnel involved as possible.  Almost every person that works in the family law industry and even your friends will say, “you need an attorney!”  Newsflash, they don’t REALLY know and if they work in the industry, they have ulterior motives.  Your friends, family or co-workers only tell you, you need an attorney because it seems to make sense.  Initially you feel you are at a disadvantage if your estranged spouse has an attorney and you do not, if you’re working full-time and you have children you will probably have to get an attorney if the children are with you most the time; however, if you have a good support system and your work schedule is flexible, explore representing yourself or filing online.  If you find you must start talking with attorneys you need to be aware of these 6 topics that fly under the radar:

#1 The attorney will not tell you to go without an attorney, it conflicts with their livelihood.  An attorney knows the system and the divorce system is designed to make money. If you hire an attorney, you still use your time and energy to explain everything to your attorney.  Additionally, you must review all paperwork they prepare, because your signature is required on every form.  Whether you are the petitioner (the person who filed for the divorce) or the respondent (the person responding to the person who filed); an attorney will not grasp your position as much as you.  Every state has rules and regulations on how they do things, your divorce will follow those rules and regulations; you will not be the exception because you hired a good attorney.

#2 The attorney will not tell you they don’t care directly.  It’s unimaginable that people can become so calloused; however, they probably did not start out that way.  The system grooms people to become desensitized to your situation.  It’s only natural.  Family law people put on a caring façade to gain your trust (there are some exceptions, but few).  The more people they’ve worked with, the less caring they typically are.  There is no way they could face their work day without that hard shell, because to be good at what they do, they must manipulate the other side and manipulate you too.  Remember they are also charging you an arm and a leg at the same time whether you can afford it or not.  Married celebrities, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, discovered this late in the game according to Vanity Fair and finally decided to go with a private judge which minimizes attorney and media manipulation, plus keeps things private from the public.

#3 The attorney will not tell you your story DOESN’T matter to the court.  This is huge!  If you already have an attorney you are already somewhat familiar with the preparation that is required to file the paperwork or forms with the court.  The first declaration forms go to great lengths to set the backdrop behind the reasons for the divorce.  Hours upon hours are spent by you and your attorney to arrive at a reasonably true story.  If you don’t have a caring attorney, the attorney will input drama where needed and hyperbole to make the story more compelling so the judge finds it interesting to read.  What’s worse is that these lies are never refuted at the hearing.  The story is filed as fact and then the other person can submit their own declaration (link example is from California) refuting the lies, but there is no consensus.

#4 The attorney will not tell you the judge will make an order or decline making an order as they see fit regardless of your attorney’s performance or the damages that accrued in the relationship.  The judge sees numerous cases a day, you are just a number.  If the judge had a bad morning and you show emotion, 2 strikes against whatever you think is a fair compromise.  All the while, your attorney sits there helpless and you paid them to sit there helpless.  Every hearing has an objective set by the judge or opposing council, so if the situation that is rectified before the date on the court’s calendar you cannot replace that objective with something else.  The date is removed from calendar and if there’s another topic that needs to be addressed you or your attorney must file a motion to put it back on calendar.  What does this do?  It prolongs the divorce and keeps the legal tab open.

#5 The attorney will not tell you to always show up in court or the other side will have the advantage.  This is a common-sense scenario.  From the judge’s perspective if you didn’t take the time to appear in court you automatically have less authority and skin in the game even though you sent your attorney to represent you.  If you truly don’t care, this could work for you, but if you truly do care, always appear in court.

#6 If you live in a liberal state and have children, judges & attorneys do not follow “best interests of the child” doctrine.  Shocking I know!  Family law is like the Wild West.  There are very few absolutes and all kinds of grey area.  For the court to care about the children in an abusive situation, the spouse in question MUST have a criminal record and/or the abuse must be verified by a professional 3rd party.

Think twice before seeking an attorney to file for divorce.  If you loved your spouse at least for a moment during your marriage, save yourself the stress and heartache that comes along with the attorney representation package.  The judge in every divorce case bases their decision on previous case decisions and if the judge breaks the law and favors the other side unjustly you can appeal.  If you think your spouse will get an attorney, seek advice from an attorney, but talk to many, because if you go with a calloused one you’ll be in for a long haul.

Author: fyidivorce

Hello! You can call me the Straight Shooter. Too many divorce resources come from a family law perspective; my goal is to provide divorce tips with no sugarcoating. I've chosen Straight Shooter as my alias to keep things on topic and define my tone in all posts and comments. Looking forward to open dialogue about divorce.

10 thoughts on “6 Things a Divorce Attorney Won’t Tell You”

      1. Hey FYI thx for reading. I believe we need to go through the politicians. Lobby them to rescind self regulation of the barristers association. Insert an indelible clause stating family lawyers must have regard for children. I believe then and only then, will the system consider what children need. Which to me is obvious ‘two functional parents are better than one’ this is not an adversary comment but the lawyers make it so for profit. That’s why the whole thing goes a muck!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I believe there needs to be laws in place for family court. What you’re suggesting sounds like a revision to “best interest of the children” which isn’t followed anyway. There is a barristers association for every city, seems too segmented. Certain court orders should be mandatory without having to go before a judge, like child support and spousal support in every state and every city. There should be consequences for maltreatment on either side and the person with the most documented maltreatment gets less input in settlement. I have too many ideas just for this comment.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Check out Maurice Valcourt
        Bill c560 41 parliament 2nd session
        He tried to introduce an equal parenting bill as presumptive law and was accused of sexual harassment by the opposition. Forced to retire.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I skimmed the bill. I see why it was opposed and I agree. Equal parenting is already considered in custody arrangements. That bill gives priority to the parents and does not give priority to children. It also ranks family violence and the opinion of the child lower than the opinion of the parents which is not in the best interest of the children. Enforcing best interest of the children is critical and a concrete criteria should be established and followed by all judges.

        Like

  1. As much as I liked the less than timely in-statement of ‘best interest of children’ by the government into the family law act, I’d agree it isn’t being upheld. From my viewpoint there is no possible way it could be upheld because the judges used to be family lawyers, who, via their professional code of conduct (not allowed to have regard for children) cemented into the very fabric of their souls, it is not humanely possible, after a simple letter of appointment to the bench, could they possibly even try to have regard for children. So that is the reason why the government must also get involved forcing ‘regard for children’ into the barristers code of conduct. After a few decades the new judges now have the credentials and proper training to perform their task of ‘best interest of children’. It is not a quick process but we need to finish what we have started. So now lets change the way lawyers deal with children. Lobby the politicians to intervene.
    Just a small thought to a huge problem but we need to start some wheres.

    Like

    1. Judge appointments are very concerning. I’ve even seen criminal judges/criminal attorneys appointed in family law; essentially people who deal with the worst of the worst are now making family decisions?! Judges from criminal law do not have the background to judge family matters they have the background to judge criminal matters. It’s not clear to me how changing best interest of the children to regard for the children is better. Isn’t best interest of the children already in all the barrister associations?

      Like

      1. Hmm I have only studied the barristers professional code of conduct in a few regions and I have not seen the clause ‘in the best interest of children’. I have only seen reference to regard for clients not children. The only place I saw ‘ best interest of children’ was in the family law act that judges have to follow. I will keep looking but the idea of pursuing ‘regard for children’ as an approach was for lawyers conduct only. I think the family law act has progressed to best interest while I now want to concentrate on the other sector of family court that being the barristers. I personnelly think if we get them on board then when they get to the bench they will act appropriately for the childen. Right now they aren’t allowed to have regard for children. To me that’s just plain wrong. Thx so much for having this convo.

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s