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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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