Thursday, April 1, 2010
Beware of the Bulldog
Many people believe they need to hire a "bulldog" attorney when going through a divorce. Recently, in my own practice, I have seen bulldogs at their best...or worst, as the case may be. Last week, for example, I met with a client who was getting along great (all things considered) with his soon-to-be-ex-wife...that is, until the other lawyer (a.k.a. bulldog) got involved. The opposing counsel convinced my client's spouse that the parenting time plan that the parties had previously agreed was best for the children, would not give her the amount of money she thought she "deserved" in child support. Suddenly, these two people, who were once working together to do what was in their children's best interests, were at each other's throats over money...all because of the attorney. At the attorney's advice, my client's spouse unilaterally reduced his parenting time from nearly 50% to alternating weekends. My client suddenly, and for no reason whatsoever, went from having his children 7 out of every 14 nights, to 2 out of 14. He was devastated...the kids were sad...and the battle began. The attorneys’ fees have sky-rocketed in a few short days. These two people that were once cordial and doing a great job of co-parenting cannot even speak. Further...the money they have spent on attorneys’ fees, just since this ridiculous battle began, could have been used for their children. So, because of the bulldog attorney, the kids are upset and confused, this great father has lost time with his children (at least until we can get into court), both parties have spent WAY TOO MUCH money in attorneys fees, leaving less to be distributed between them or on their kids, the parties are fighting, not communicating, and saying things to each other, out of anger, that will cause hurt feelings and animosity for years to come. Now, the kids, the husband and even the wife are all being harmed in one way or another by the ridiculous advice of this attorney...so...who wins? Well, the attorneys, of course, because all of this fighting and drama and turmoil for this family results in more money for the lawyers. People---PLEASE BEWARE OF THE BULLDOG!!! Healthy divorces really are possible!!