No divorce lawyer? Might be your fault
By Isabel Suarez (courtesy of Robert L. Mues)
When I asked our family attorney to represent me in my divorce, he flatly told me he would rather drink arsenic. I assured him this was a simple divorce, and his answer was still no. After calling several attorneys, their response was that they no longer practiced in this area, and the ones that would take my case wanted a King’s ransom. Can you enlighten me why attorneys turn their backs on divorces?
Hoping to Be Single
Rather than giving you an original answer, I have asked my colleague, Robert L. Mues to allow me to print his funny commentary, posted on www.ohiofamilylawblogspot.com. His article: “10 tips to ruin your divorce case and waste as much money as possible”
Tip #1: Organize nothing. Either bring none of your financial records or requested documents to your attorney’s office or hearing, or bring all your financial records in a paper sack overflowing with miscellaneous papers. Take no responsibility for any aspect of your case. Procrastinate getting documents together and ask your lawyer to handle even the simplest stuff because you don’t have time.
Tip #2: Call your lawyer repeatedly, ideally several times a day, and ask the same question over and over and over again. Never write down his or her response, and never follow the lawyer’s advice and instructions.
Tip #3: Make sure you’re blinded by anger and surrounded by friends who agree with you completely. In fact, make sure your closest friends en-
courage you to get
retribution by doing things like slashing your ex’s tires and throwing their possessions on the lawn.
Tip #4: Hire the fanciest, sharky-est, most expensive lawyer in town even if you have few assets and mostly debts. Be sure to call and complain, making demands every day.
Tip #5: If you owe your lawyer money, pay small sums at a time or nothing at all on your ever-growing bill. Get into terse discussions with your lawyer about the additional work you’d like done while your bill remains unpaid. Make them chase you for their fees and threaten not to pay. You want to be sure that the entire office staff rolls their eyes when they see your file and that your lawyer gets in a bad mood every time he or she thinks about working on your case.
Tip #6: If your relationship is deteriorating daily, be sure and continue to stay in the same house to save money. As tensions escalate, threaten to call the police and eventually call 911. Flip a coin to see who gets arrested and spends the night in jail.
Tip #7: Refuse to speak to your spouse except through attorneys. Don’t talk settlement until the court forces you to do so. Say things like, “It’s the principal that matters!” particularly if you have a limited amount of money to spend on your divorce.
Tip #8: Demand that your lawyer file as much legal paperwork as possible even if you don’t really understand its purpose or what it is. Keep giving your spouse a hard time and running up his or her legal bills as your top priority. Completely ignore the fact that you’re paying for this work, too.
Tip #9: Blame your spouse for everything. Maintain your martyr status by emphasizing all of the terrible things that have happened, while maintaining that you were (and are) completely innocent and oblivious. Revel in your victim status and tell anyone who will listen.
Tip #10: Go to court over even the smallest issue. File as many motions for hearings as possible, and refuse to settle anything in advance. Spend your time milling around the court hallway waiting for the judge to get to your case. If you do decide to talk settlement, be sure and nit-pick every detail, agree to an issue and then change your mind. If you do settle in the hallway, make sure it’s last-minute and written up hastily because you want to make sure that there are plenty of misunderstandings about interpretation and what your agreements meant later on so, that you can go back to court again.
If any of these apply to you, then perhaps you will understand why you are having a hard time finding a lawyer.
Legal disclaimer: The content herein is for entertainment and informative purposes only, and should not be interpreted as a legal consultation. Readers act on this information solely at their own risk and are advised to seek an attorney if legal consultation is needed. The accuracy of this information cannot be guaranteed as laws are subject to change. Neither the author, the Dayton City Paper, nor any of its affiliates shall have any liability stemming from this article.
Isabel Suarez is a Cuban-born American who has been practicing law since 1984. Her diverse multicultural and multilingual practice Suarez & Carlin in Old North Dayton especially serves the regions working poor. Isabel is also a board member of and volunteer for the Ohio Intervention Program. You can reach Isabel by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling her office located at 765 Troy St. in Dayton at (937) 258-1800.