Dream Is Dead

Before You Hire a Divorce Lawyer and Start a War, Read This

Dear Robin:

I read your blog all the time and I have always agreed with you on how to handle divorce, until recently. That’s because my husband just left me and our kids and I find myself absolutely in shock, angry, and desperate to figure out how to support us as he goes about his “new life.”

I think you are unrealistic.

My friends in Portland have given me names of divorce lawyers, some of whom I know you don’t care for.  Can you understand why someone would want to start a war when they are so devastated?  It seems like you think all this should be easy, but it isn’t.

Suddenly Single

Dear Suddenly Single:

I agree with your criticism.  

In fact, I am currently in the middle of a major rewrite of my book to acknowledge and discuss that pain, along with the “how-to” aspects of divorce.  I think the reason I have struggled with finishing this book is because it was missing the “Robin” element of the blog in which I sometimes share my own experiences along with advice.

This will be a very fast and easy rewrite. because now it will be more personal and therefore more impactful.  And I don’t mean it’s all about me, I mean I am willing to reach out to the reader and acknowledge that I understand and relate to their emotional (and often physical) agony felt when they are going through a split.

While I would say my divorce from my first husband was very amicable, upon reflection I remember the intense pain of it all, even though we never fought over anything.  I remember thinking I was broken beyond repair and would never find love again.

I have not taken those feelings into account for my readers.  Sorry about that.


Now, I will.  

The pain of losing love and your dreams of a family will fade over time, for the same reason the agony of childbirth fades: if it did not, we would cease to exist as a species.  

We would never try again to engage in that terrible and wondrous dance of love and hope and the irrational optimism of thinking, “this one will last.”

There is so much sadness, shock, loss, and anger that go into the end of a long-term relationship.  Don’t add more in the form of a legal battle.  

Let me help you.

Divorce by Design Consulting Services

As you should know, I recently opened up a new consulting company.  I described it in this blog but I am still putting together the details and will have them on the website soon under a new tab.

By the way, Readers, I appreciate and rely upon your referrals so please send people my way if you think I can help them.

As many of you are painfully aware, the termination of interpersonal relationships, especially marriages, can be extremely ugly.  Many divorce lawyers have figured out and then mastered how to turn the personal tragedy of their naive, broken-hearted and emotionally numb clients into a financial windfall for themselves.

Simply put: it doesn’t have to be this way.

I understand.  Believe me.

I understand the terrible grief and crushing feelings of hopelessness, fear, and failure that accompany the end of a marriage.  I will not minimize those feelings at all – they are real and terrible and it’s a wonder sometimes that people can get out of bed in the morning when their partnership has crumbled into pieces.

However, those emotions of despair and loss should not be litigated.

They cannot be litigated.

There is no court out there that can give you back your heart in one piece, or prevent the damage your kids will undergo when your family is split in two, even if you do it right.

There is no lawyer in the world that can transform your crushing depression, feelings of being unlovable and utterly inadequate, and thoughts of suicide into a good mental state.

Those jobs belong to mental health professionals.

Not lawyers.

Not judges.

I offer a better solution.

What the hell is “Divorce by Design” all about, you ask?  Well, I’ll tell you!

Services I Offer

  • divorce and post-divorce family mediation
  • coaching
  • asset division analysis
  • negotiating
  • legal fee review
  • assistance fighting lawsuits from your former divorce lawyer when they sue you for unpaid balances 
  • Co-petition divorce paperwork  
  • gut checks on proposed settlement offers
  • litigation

Even if your spouse has hired a nasty lawyer, I specialize in coaching how to handle a difficult spouse and their obnoxious counsel.  If you yourself have an attorney, I can coach you on being a better advocate for yourself and how to manage their time and costs.

The work I’ve done thus far of which I am the proudest is the mediation between couples.  I’ve had people come to me who thought they hated each other and wanted to fight to the death.  My extremely direct and reality-based head-knocking has saved many from destroying themselves, their children, and going broke.


I expect my clients to be open to compromise and the spirit of resolution with minimal damage to the family’s mental health and financial well-being.

If you want to screw your spouse and make them pay for whatever wrongs you think they visited upon you with a nasty divorce that will go on forever, please see your local divorce asshole lawyer, because that ain’t me.

Email me for details and sliding scale flat-fee rates. I do NOT bill per hour, which is one of the benefits of how I work.

You get full-service Robin, you pay a flat quarterly fee based upon what you can afford, and I work for you as much as is needed until you either no longer need me or you think I’m not helping you.

Save money.

Save your sanity.

Save your children’s well-being.

Email me at robin@robindescamp.com to set up a call during which we will discuss my creative and compelling solutions to family law issues that arise prior to, during, and after divorce.  I’ll refer you to some very happy people with whom I’ve worked.

Then interview a divorce lawyer and ask them what their hourly rates are, their minimum billing units, their interest rates, their staff turnover rates, and their average length of time between filing a divorce petition and resolution of the case.  When they lie to you (as they will), ask for proof.

Ask them to give you five references to former clients who will tell you they have a positive relationship with their co-parent.  Clearly there is a need for some original and creative thinking and action in this arena so email me at robin@robindescamp.com and let’s talk.

Although I have two client meetings today and I am working on the book, I can make time for you.  Don’t let your pain destroy you and your children.  Reach out.  I’m here.  And to all of you who have criticized me over the years for seeming to have a blithe attitude towards the breakup of a family, know this:

I hear you.  

I am dedicating my work, both writing and consulting, into making things less awful.  I know now that it’s really a measure of making things “less awful,” rather than “good,” because when you are going through this terrible journey, “good,” along with “happy,” are words you resign to your former and future vocabulary for a good long while.



This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. E.F.

    Robin –

    I think your approach to mediating divorce is so refreshing – I wish I had gone that route instead of “lawyering up” and spending a fortune. It shouldn’t have to be that way – divorce is hard enough. My experience with family law and the “justice system” has been so disappointing. Most of the people I have had to deal with (my ex’s lawyers more so than mine) have only been interested in generating legal fees and not in the best outcome for people and families.

    I will be sending another referral your way over the weekend.


    I will be sending all my Portland referrals to you. There is no winning an adversarial divorce–all victories are Pyrrhic.

  3. RF Madrid

    I am having persistent troubles trying to find a place where you answer questions your readers have posed to you. When I look on Yahoo, it looks (to quote an old uncle of mine) “all over the place like a madwoman’s shit”. (I have spent time in a psych ward, so I think I can use the phrase, and still be PC.) I don’t know enough about web design, etc., to be able to offer specific suggestions, except to recommend that you watch a neophyte try to contact you on the internet. So many ‘hits’ that lead nowhere …. I’m trying to “Subscribe” from here. I hope it works !

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