Taken to the Cleaners

A year ago tomorrow to the day we began our divorce proceedings.  If I had started the cameras rolling I would not be in a mess but making it rich off a reality show.  I am 200k in the hole and over the past 12 months my life has been spent arguing with divorce attorneys who are on par with the deceit of a Bernie Madoff.
It is crazy for divorcing couples to place their lives and their children’s in the hands of lawyers expecting them to go off settle matters to the benefit and best interests of their clients..  Lawyers take the practical problems that divorcing couples are faced with and extend them, making difficulties worse and at times unsolvable.    The problem is and what I have not been able to figure out is how to stop the madness. My ordeal has been a cross between a slow motion train wreck and an inescapable dream.  

The father of my college girlfriend was Lenard Marlow. Lenard is one of the pioneers in the field of divorce mediation.  He was a very passionate and wise man who told me the story of being one of New York City’s top divorce attorneys, waking up one day and having a moral dilemma of coming to the realization that what many divorce attorneys do is “take a bad situation and make it worse”.   He explained to me that divorce attorneys get involved in a low point in someone’s life and often enrage the parties into a pit bull fight pitting them against each other in a fight to the death that destroys whatever relationship existed for their own personal gain.  Sadly, my observation is that my wife’s attorney, Dan,  is  the divorce lawyer Lenard so passionately warned me about. Now Dan has a lien on our cabin for legal fees.
Divorce attorneys are well aware of the trust factor with divorcing spouses. They play one against the other making more issues and driving up time and cost.  They play you off each other or worse throw you like two pit bulls in a ring.

I think it helps to clarify things  by agreeing to one single guiding principal, ONE answer to EVERY question; the correct answer should be based on following this guideline:  “Whatever is in the best interest of the children.”   I think the primary guiding principle for all the topics on the table is “what is in the best interest of our kids.  This needs to be every divorcees mantra; this guiding principal will lead us to the truth as to what is the best solution to what has become a complicated mess.

E=MC^2: Any attorney can make things complicated, but the best attorneys can make a deal simple.

The irony of this situation is that my wife is pregnant and during this whole ordeal we are trying to reconcile, yet neither of us can figure out how to stop the wheels that have been set into motion.
A few days ago, it broke my heart to learn she sold her wedding ring for to pay her attorney’s (Dan Goldberg of Messerli & Kramer) fees.   And weeks ago I begged her not to send the additional money from our joint account because it would only get chewed up by the professionals we hired to solve our dispute and this got sent last Thursday.  I was planning to use this as a trust for my kids future and instead it is now gone. I don’t blame her. She is an expectant mother listening to legal professionals hired to give her sound advice.
If you have had similar experiences with divorce and family practice lawyers share your thoughts.

2011-06-27 22:15:00


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