“It Is Dead.”

I knew it.  

I didn’t want to believe it, but deep down I knew it all along.

I’m starting to believe that true reform in family law is an impossible dream.  There’s too much money to be made; too much misery to convert into cash and beach houses and convertible Bentleys named “Pearl.”

I can’t spend too much time on this today but the short version is this:

  • Representative Gail Whitsett (R) purported to carry an alimony reform bill but did not contact Oregon Alimony Reform about the bill.
  • When I found out I immediately called her and spent hours drafting a power point explaining why her bill would never even get a hearing, much less a vote.
  • I proposed incremental reform that we had discussed with lawyers from the Family Law Section of the Oregon State Bar: areas of compromise that had a fighting chance.
  • She waited until it was too late to change the bill to tell me she was not going to follow our suggestions.  The bill she proposed was outrageous in its overreaching and poorly written.  It also appears to be the same bill she submitted last time around with no results.
  • I told her repeatedly we had scores of people who wanted to testify and help get this bill moving.  She never indicated any interest.  People who called her office asking about the bill were referred to me.
  • I asked for status updates several times with no response, until today.
  • Today, when I emailed yet again asking about the bill, she wrote back simply:

It is dead.

That’s it.  Nice, huh?

I knew it.

I told Mr. Patience and Understanding months ago that I suspected our cause was being hijacked by those who not only didn’t support reform, but who actually had a vested interest in maintaining the status quo.  He sighed, patted me on the head, and told me not to be so cynical.

And then this.  

And a google search I should have done long ago shows possible connections between Whitsett, her husband Doug Whitsett, and the biggest (and I mean that literally and figuratively) enemy of reform; the biggest DICK* of all.

Am I paranoid?  


But just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get you.

Politics is a dirty business and I’m not sure I have the heart for it, probably for the same reason I couldn’t stomach family law: when you wrestle with pigs in the mud you both get dirty but the pig loves it, especially the pig who monitors every word I write.


I’m not giving up.  We will be back.  But the majority of my efforts will go into writing and speaking with people about real reform.

Real reform will come from mothers and fathers teaching their kids of both genders to always be able and willing to support themselves, not to exist merely as breeding and spending machines.

Real reform will come when parents realize that raising up your daughter to be totally dependent upon a man is a mistake and doing a grave disservice to her.

Real reform will come when parents realize that raising up your son to believe he must be solely responsible for the financial support of his family is a mistake and doing a grave disservice to him.

Real reform will come when people always draft enforceable contracts prior to marriage setting out specific expectations and obligations in the event of a divorce, because if you don’t draft your marital contract the state and the DICKS will do it for you.

Real reform will come when personal responsibility is the norm, not the outlier. 

Real reform will come when people know and reject the tricks of the divorce game, like the 24 minute minimum billing unit charged by my favorite firm here in Portland currently under investigation by the Oregon State Bar.  

Stay tuned on that issue, and if you’ve been or are getting divorced and you’d like to add your voice to the conversation take a look at your attorney fee agreement.  Is there a minimum in excess of .1, also known as 6 minutes?  If so, please email me at robin@robindescamp.com.

Back to finishing my book, How to Get Divorced Without Losing Your Kids, Your Money and Your Mind: a Holistic and Practical Guide to Marital Dissolution and Family Reorganization, which will serve to expose those tricks and teach people that divorce doesn’t have to be ugly, expensive, and heartbreaking.  

And hey girl: it’s not defamation if it’s true.


*DICK = Divorce Industrial Complex Kingpin



This Post Has 9 Comments

  1. keith stones

    Help me obi wan..you are my only hope…….

  2. Krent

    In Florida this year Alimony Reform passed all the committees with overwhelming favor but yet did not get to a floor vote because the frickin politicals dismissed their session 3 days early, (somehow that related to a deadlock they were in regarding the state and medicaid). So the slaves continue to slave while the law peels grapes for the takers, those sloths who party their livelong days while their exspouses and very current slaves work out their undeserved life sentences.

    Someday, someday, they will refer to this time as the dark ages.

    1. Admin

      It’s a disgusting process filled with disgusting people. What I don’t understand is how someone can live with themselves doing NOTHING for an entire lifetime.

  3. Mark

    Oh great one,

    This is just a minor battle. There are bigger wars to be won, once all the riff-raff and those who live in their own “house of cards” world, are dispensed with. That includes politicians who couldn’t give a Whit.

  4. Reformer

    You often quote Winston Churchill so I’ll quote him back to you: Never, never, never give up! That hideous beast can’t keep it up much longer and I know you are changing people’s attitudes about divorce. Take a breather from the legislative side and continue your writing. You changed my life and my ex-wife’s attitude and helped us divorce with peace. Don’t give up!

    1. Keith Stone

      Ditto… take a breather, and watch Braveheart…

      -You are a voice for so many who have none, and honestly will save lives (think about that). It is a noble and worthy battle Robin, find a way…

  5. Debbie

    This happened in Florida in 2012 when the Senate sponsor of the Bill, Miguel Diaz de la Portilla, never brought the bill for a vote in the senate. It turns out his law partner was the lobbyist for the Family Law Section. How this went unnoticed by the leadership at the time is beyond me. I think it is imperative that anyone involved in alimony reform follow Steve Hitner’s advice and read Trouble in the Village as to how to get the job done. Although the Mass Supreme Court f*cked over the law, Steve was able to get the Mass Bar on board for full retroactivity. These same people are in the process of creating new legislation to correct the supreme court decision.

  6. Admin

    On the bright side, today’s blog sent three more victims my way to tell their stories. I wonder when her sister will contact me? That reminds me to read through that file…

  7. SavageWotan

    Do not give up. Duplicity is an unfortunate part of the democratic legislative process. In New Jersey we had a strong and dedicated sponsor in the Assembly. He picked his senate district-mate as the primary Senate sponsor. Only towards the end of the process did we learn that she had worked with one of the leaders of the state bar family law section; when we got to crunch time, she delayed the hearing of our comprehensive reform bill in front of the Senate judiciary committee. When she blocked the comprehensive reform bill with guidelines and retroactivity from that hearing, the bar used the opportunity in the second half of the legislative session to kill the comprehensive reform bill and substitute their watered-down bill. We got something done, but we would have gotten a lot more done but for a single bad legislative decision by our Assembly sponsor. You cannot even truly say that he made a bad legislative decision; the Senate sponsor should have declined to sponsor because of a potential conflict of interest.
    The state bar association opposition can be beaten. Bar associations can be beaten, and they are increasingly being recognized as self-interested actors when it comes to regulation of the profession and sponsorship of legislation. The recent U.S. Supreme Court decision in North Carolina Board of Dentists vs. FTC is instructive in this regard. That decision has state bar officials all over the country pooping bricks. While not a tsunami yet, the tide has turned and it is with us. You need an effective professional lobbyist to identify a dedicated sponsor in your legislature. Have confidence that such a sponsor is out there; with the proliferation of divorce and the prevalence of horror stories once you have a dedicated sponsor, getting support for a real reform bill in your legislature is possible.
    This is a fight. Punches will be exchanged. You had a bad day, but you will have good days. And let me tell you that one year after reform passed in New Jersey, we are getting many testimonials and expressions of gratitude from people who are being released from permanent alimony obligations who would have had no hope without the passage of reform legislation.

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