(Cue bouncy tune…)
Are you divorcing a fuckwit? Has she suggested collaborative mediation? Would he like to remain “friends”? Did you watch an instructional video on youtube and decide that you can build your own divorce decree with glue, scissors, and a shot of vodka? STOP! AND GET A LAWYER!
Yes! A lawyer! Frequently the butt of shark jokes, overlooked and often reviled, that shambling figure at your local bar association is actually YOUR FRIEND. Shocking that someone with three years of advanced post-graduate legal education would know something about divorce laws, but THEY DO! Their brains are stuffed with all sorts of knowledge like contracts, torts, and how to balance those scale thingies. YOU NEED A LAWYER!
But how do I know I’m getting the right sort of lawyer, Tracy? They all look the same in their drab, gray Brooks Brothers suits.
Good question! You want a FAMILY LAW LAWYER! Although they appear indistinguishable, lawyers actually come in many flavors — Criminal, Employment, Tax, and extra socially awkward — Patent! Avoid those sorts, and get a FAMILY LAW PROFESSIONAL.
Family Law Professionals can help you leave that fuckwit! CALL A LAWYER TODAY!
(Bouncy music fades…)
Chump Lady here. Every day I get a letter that goes like this:
Awful thing, awful thing, more awful thing… divorce? Awful thing, awful thing, OUTRAGEOUS run-away-like-your-hair-is-on-fire thing… I can’t afford an attorney.
Listen to me: GET A LAWYER.
If I told you your child would die if he didn’t get a kidney, would you say “I can’t afford a kidney”?
No. You would do anything in your power to get a kidney. You’d get a Kickstarter account. You’d ask a family member for a kidney. You’d ask a stranger for a kidney. You’d hock your jewelry. You’d exhaust your credit cards. You would GET THAT KIDNEY.
I know the problem here is that some of you do not think proper legal advice is a life-or-death situation. Or you’re so mindfucked that you think cheaters still have your best interests at heart. Oh They Would Never…
They may cheat and lie, but they’d NEVER hide money. They might break their marriage vows, but they would NEVER treat me unfairly in a divorce!
You might believe all the caterwauling from your cheater that you’re a terrible person if you hire a lawyer. How can you do that to your CHILDREN? Why, your cheater just wants to keep things friendly and inexpensive! They fail to understand your hostility.
Chumps — cheaters have a vested interest in a) cake b) no financial consequences and c) gaming the system to their benefit.
The only kind of professional who can help you out of this clusterfuck and think of questions you never even dreamed of asking, is a LAWYER.
I know some of you are going to tell me stories that you mediated and it was great. Or you spent $20 on divorce software and she signed the papers you shoved at her and she signed them in a fit of guilt. IMO, you people are outliers. Unicorns. The rest of you are dealing with narcissistic fuckwits who get very pissy when they don’t get their way. YOU NEED A LAWYER.
I’m sorry it’s expensive. I’m sorry the process sucks. But please, please get proper legal representation after you’ve been chumped.
Why? Here’s a few reasons:
That self-made mediation you drew up, probably sucks and fails to account for all sorts of things. You may very well be back in court ANYWAY, only now you wasted all that money on mediation and have to undo a lousy agreement.
Oh! Oh! But a lawyer helped draw it up and signed off on it!
That’s very different than hiring a lawyer to represent you in a divorce and fight for your interests. They may catch some things, insist on others, but the biggest reason you need a lawyer is….
YOU ARE A CHUMP.
Hey, Ms. Reasonable there. You, Mr. Fair Minded. Have you spent years putting yourself last? Stuffing down your needs until you wouldn’t recognize one if it came up and bit your nipple? Well, aren’t you the perfect sucker to broker a deal with. Heartbroken, emotionally exhausted, used to appeasing the unappeasable narcissists in your life. Sure you can represent yourself! NOT.
Please hand over the wheel to a legal professional who knows what a fair settlement looks like. And if you have an extra narky narc? Get one of those high conflict divorce lawyers who understands personality disorders.
You can’t afford not to.