as first published on thelawinsider.com
In a world where “c.r.e.a.m.” is as recognizable an acronym as “bankruptcy” is a buzzword, it’s only logical that many people have found themselves having to cut corners anywhere they can. You know, magnums instead of jeroboams, Maybachs over Bugattis, downsizing from summering in the French Riviera to a quick jaunt toBali. And if it just so happens your name isn’t Carlos Slim or you don’t sit on the board of Goldman Sachs, tightening the budget most often means restructuring the way you categorize expenses. For example, when you have trained your eight year old son to answer the phone “Gee, I don’t know when a good time to call back would be Mister (credit card/bank/lending representative). Since Mama ran off with Uncle Charley, Pop’s just been sitting on the front porch drinking moonshine and cleaning his gun,”… Somehow scoring a ticket to the Oasis reunion tour you had been waiting a decade for moves from the –I don’t care if I have to feed my family Taco Bell for a month I’m buying it- category to the –no matter how much I want it it’s never happening so I may as well forget it – category.
And so, like many who reveled in the prosperity of the gilded age, when the panic of depression sets in (and yes for all that proclaim to have been blind at the possibility of an economic bubble bursting, it’s called history and it repeats itself) so comes the time to decide what is really a necessity and what is not. As a family law attorney, the question is often posed “Do I need an attorney to get a divorce?” The reply: of course not! After all, you don’t really need a professional for the majority of the things you could do yourself. Remember that time you tried to bypass the salon to save a few bucks? Or when your cousin decided to fix his own car? What about when your buddy decided to re-set his own wrist after that pick up basketball game? What may seem like a sound, fiscally responsible decision at the time usually ends up costing you twice as much in the end to fix, e.g.: orange hair, a blown transmission, and corrective surgery (not to mention that unfortunate nickname).
In our current economic environment, the two most prominent financially related reasons for not hiring a family law attorney that I consistently hear are that a party either does not have the financial wherewithal to afford counsel or their assets have dwindled so significantly that there is nothing left to fight over. The problem with this vantage point is that even if ‘ignorance is bliss’ has been the mantra of a marriage, it doesn’t translate so well into divorce. While believing your husband when he says that the lacy underwear you found in his briefcase was a gag gift from the boss may give you temporary peace of mind, signing away rights to Mr. Wonderful’s pension that you didn’t know you had… not so much.
I meet people on a daily basis permanently scarred by their decision not to hire legal counsel. The majority of who end up signing an Agreement that their spouse assured them would save them both from wasting valuable resources and shield them from the emotional trauma that accompanies litigating a family issue. In most instances, faced with the facts and circumstances of their situation, the person reasonably believed that there was no way that the interests of justice would require the services of an attorney. Unfortunately, in a highly complex area of law that is constantly evolving, sometimes justice is unattainable without the assistance of a professional advocate. After all, hell hath no fury like a woman (or baby daddy) scorned and in that situation doesn’t it make a lot more sense to have someone else in the ring for you?
For more information on how the Law Office of Jordan Gerber can help you navigate through the muddy waters of divorce, click on Family Law Attorney in Fort Lauderdale to schedule your appointment today.