Today I give you an excerpt from Chapter Two of my book, in which we explore the wisdom of hiring a Pit Bull lawyer, otherwise known as an “asshole.”
Choosing Your Lawyer: Beware the Pit bull!
As a lawyer in a fairly small city, I am often asked for referrals to divorce lawyers, most of whom call themselves “family law attorneys” without irony. A large percentage of those requests sound something like this:
“Guess how I found out my husband is cheating on me? The bastard gave me the lovely lifetime gift of genital warts. I need a referral for a lawyer who will rip his balls off in court and shove them down his lying, cheating throat.
“Who do you recommend who can financially and emotionally eviscerate my husband and get me the kids, the house, and a pile of money in the process? Please get back to me after five o’clock today as I’ll be busy until then picking up my new wart prescription and a gallon of vodka.”
Or like this:
“Well, Robin, your repeated jokes about how much my son Timmy looks a lot more like my best friend Mike than me finally make sense now. I came home from work early last Wednesday and found Mike balls-deep in the mother of my child who, as it turns out, probably isn’t my child at all.
“I need a lawyer who will get me not only a divorce but who will also file a lawsuit against my wife for fraud and against Mike for alienation of affection. As for child support, I’m not paying. I don’t care who the father is – I never liked that little prick anyway.”
Many of those seeking my advice on who to hire are in a great deal of pain and emotional turmoil. This is especially true when infidelity is the impetus for a split, so I can sympathize when these people ask me whether they should hire an aggressive lawyer with a reputation for “kicking ass and taking names.”
My sympathy, however, does not extend to giving really terrible advice. The answer is always an unequivocal and resounding, “No,” or as I like to put it, “Fuck no.”
Seeing as how I’m a top-notch advice expert, I put these people through a brief but elucidating quiz:
Robin’s Pit bull Quiz
- I have money to burn. Yes/ No
- I have no children, or if I do, I don’t like them very much. Yes/No
- I don’t need to pay attention to my career. Yes/No
- My health is expendable. Yes/No
- My friendships are not important. Yes/No
- My self-respect doesn’t matter to me. Yes/No
- I want to wallow in anger, misery and resentment instead of getting on with my life. Yes/No
Divorce is by nature imbued with horrible sadness and a host of other emotions we’d all rather do without: anger, feelings of betrayal and abandonment, grief, fear, and anxiety, to name just a few.
Unfortunately, this paradigm of pain often results in one or both people making the worst decision possible at the outset of a divorce: hiring a “Pit bull” lawyer.
You know the type.
We all know the type. And there is no better way to ensure your divorce will be long, ugly, expensive, traumatic and an all-around shit show than by hiring that type of lawyer.
Pit Bull Lawyers and the Cold, Hard Facts of Life
- The Pit bull doesn’t care about you.
- The Pit bull doesn’t care about your family.
- The Pit bull doesn’t care about your finances.
- The Pit bull doesn’t care about your future.
- The Pit bull DOES care about getting as much money as possible out of your marital estate–not for you, but for her. Or him. We don’t discriminate here. Pit bulls are greedy, manipulative, and aggressive regardless of gender.
Most people want to emerge from the divorce journey happy, with their children as unscathed as possible, and their finances damaged to the least extent practical given the split and all the financial ramifications of divorce.
Those three goals can be either met or utterly thwarted depending upon your choice of counsel. Let’s examine how hiring the Pit bull ensures your path is strewn with so much garbage that it’s almost impossible to navigate.
How Hiring a Pit bull Hurts You
Within the death of divorce is a beautiful little ember of hope: The New You.
The New You is the person you will become as you move past your broken marriage and into what can and should be an exciting and positive future filled with opportunities and experiences you never imagined. Really!
The New You can also take a very different form: The Evil Twin New You. This person is angry, bitter, and spiteful.
Evil Twin New You refuses to accept any responsibility for the demise of the marriage. Evil Twin New You lives in the past, ruminating upon what a horrible person your ex is and how you’ve been victimized by the divorce.
The Pit bull celebrates and encourages your transformation into Evil Twin New You, and her approach to your divorce will lead you to become that person for not just the duration of the divorce, but into perpetuity. You’ll find yourself marinating in your anger and resentment for much longer than is normal, necessary, or healthy.
Most disturbing is that this outcome is not an unhappy accident, but rather quite by design–Pit bull design.
At this point you’re probably thinking, “I don’t understand. Why would my Pit bull want me to be unhappy? Isn’t she looking out for my best interests?”
No. Fuck no.
Coming up tomorrow: The simple math of billable anger, fees of resentment, and the never-ending cycle of divorce and post-divorce litigation.
If you or someone you know is looking for a better solution to their divorce, read the following link and consider a new approach to an old and ugly system.
Later this week, we tackle a very interesting question concerning private club memberships and the legal and social implications of a club violating their own policies and bylaws. We even work in a reference to Lysistrata.
Have a great week!