Today I was described as cut-throat. Last week, someone told me the opposing side was “terrified of me”. One of my clients told me his wife was angry because I was “out to get her”. Is it a 24-hour Halloween marathon? Do I look like the boogeyman? I’m getting frustrated and apparently if that happens my eyes will roll in the back of my head, and I will spew vomit. Ok, I’m kidding. But I am annoyed. Contrary to local lore, I’m not a monster. If someone is afraid to face me then it’s because they are trying to get away with hiding the body, ok, not the body, but something. They are lying or failing to follow the Order or otherwise doing something they shouldn’t be doing.
I understand when people are about to head into the darkness of divorce, they are afraid. Afraid of the unknown, afraid of losing (in one way or another), or afraid of being exposed. It can feel like walking into a haunted house if you aren’t properly represented. I spent an hour today going over all the potential landmines that may befall my client before he settled on a plan. If you are properly prepared and are being truthful with the court, then it will not be a blood bath. The judges are not the grim reaper. They are going to be as fair as they can be with the facts they are given. They aren’t waiting behind a closed door with a machete.
What is worse? Enduring the pending litigation and going to trial or living the rest of your life with an agreement that is pure hell? The opposing clients who are seemingly afraid of me are both trying to squeeze my clients for a very unfair settlement. Unfairness makes me turn green. No, not really. But when it comes to people who are attempting to harm my clients, I’m serious about the attack. What’s frustrating is that people get psyched into being afraid to protect themselves and their rights. They fall for manipulation tactics and deception.
The tragedy is when someone comes in with a botched settlement and they want me to wave my magic wand and fix it. Most of the time, it’s not so easy or if it’s a property settlement, it’s impossible. After a certain time, and the time varies depending on the reason you want to reassess the agreement, there is nothing that can be done. You may feel nervous or anxious about meeting with an attorney, especially if seeing me (because I’m so scary!), but don’t let your fear stop you from making informed decisions.
I met with a lovely woman last week. She had the sweetest demeanor, and she wanted my help. She had heard good things about me, which probably meant she heard I was the devil incarnate, but it was too late. She told me her lawyer wouldn’t listen to her. She told me her story and while it may have been possible to plead her case effectively, her case was too far gone for me to get involved. If you find yourself feeling uncertain about your lawyer or uncomfortable with your representation. You should find new counsel. Again, don’t let your fear cause you to make mistakes that may cost you dearly.
Whatever fear you are facing, the best way to address it is to speak to an attorney and find out what you are entitled to, what you are facing, and if you will be burned at the stake. Forgive me for getting carried away with the horror references! Tis the season.