The Divorcing Litigant’s Big Argument!

The argument for not consulting a lawyer in your divorce:
1. At least half of all lawyers are below average. (I know I am a bit tough on family law lawyers here, but it is the mindset we bring from law school and our lives that I disagree with. There is a movement for a better way, and I hope it will begin to change this concept of “an adversary system”.)
2. Family law tends to attract aggressive people with a high tolerance for conflict.
3. Lawyers have been trained in “the adversary system”. Siri defines “adversary” as “One’s opponent in a conflict, contest, or dispute. e.g., The Devil”. How crazy is that? The person you swore to love and honor, for your lifetime together, with whom you had children, acquired property, and shared dreams. Now must sue one another in order to get a divorce! What’s a person to do? Good question.
4. Relatively few family lawyers are innovative, creative, and determined in dispute resolution. Their approach is to argue, threaten, bluster, and fight. It is very tough to be collegial and cooperative with a lawyer like this.
5. Lawyers tend to be expensive, and family law lawyers who are in great demand sometimes cost more than average.
6. And, “My spouse says he would like to do this ‘without lawyers’ ”.
The argument for consulting this lawyer in your divorce.
1. I strongly believe I am not “below average”. If you “do your homework” on me and my staff, I think you will agree.
2. I am an aggressive person with a high tolerance for conflict who has learned to moderate his natural tendencies for the good of his client and her/his children, while being alert for the “bullies” in the world.
3. I am doing everything in my power to be innovative, creative, and determined in dispute resolution. I try to reason with my opponents and to “punish” the truly unreasonable lawyers and parties. “Punish” simply means do a good job, try the case vigorously, and get the best results in those cases where the other side simply will not agree to a fair compromise.
4. My staff and I have innovative methods, and various products, that keep my fees substantially below the “big retainer: see you in Court” lawyers.
5. There is no better way to “get along”, and to avoid being pushed around, by teaching your spouse that bullying, and pressure will not move you, and that your post-divorce will be different than the marriage, with mutual respect, fairness, equity, and placing the children first. Had these things been in full force during the marriage, the divorce might not have been necessary.
6. The spouse who says “let’s do this without lawyers” is often the more aggressive spouse, the one who is sure he can turn you to his will,  or the one who sees he/she has more to lose if the other side has a lawyer. If “do this without lawyers” is supposed to mean work out an amicable settlement, I do that at a much higher rate than “average”. And “fair” to you does not mean you walk out the door in a barrel with leather shoulder straps! A “good divorce” is an equitable one that maximizes the parties’ chances of working together later for the sake of the children.
7. And, I have negotiated thousands of property settlements and parent plans? How often have you and your spouse done that? And what is your experience and knowledge of “the rules of the (divorce) game”? There are family court rules, rules of evidence, rules of civil procedure, appellate rules, civil cases, and Supreme Court case precedent. You don’t know them, so you need someone who does.
8. Knowledge is power. For a “consultation fee” of $500, I can evaluate your case, gather a history, provide options, discuss fee arrangements, and empower you. We are not too expensive, aggressive, or too adversarial for most working people. And we will help you guide your behavior for your best interests and your children
9. At the end of that interview, all of your options remain on the table, but your information base will be much larger. 304 472-7477;

This post was written by Burton Hunter

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