Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Divorce Shoals Style

Most couples manage to make it through Christmas, either just for the sake of family or appearances or a myriad of other reasons. I knew one man living a thousand miles away who refused to tell his dying mother that he was divorced. No one wants their marriage to end in divorce, but what if there is nothing else for it? What if one partner has been so abused in various ways that a legal negation of their marriage vows is the only answer?

Over the past few weeks, I have written various columns relating to the problems in a local family court. The amount of negative feedback concerning such judges, especially one, has left me stupefied as to what can and does happen in such situations. Many of these e-mails ask for advice concerning legal problems and requesting the names of divorce attorneys.

Rule One - Hire your own attorney! I don't care how amicable you say your divorce is going to be, it can rapidly devolve into World War III, and if you don't have proper representation, you can lose money, children, social position--the list is long. Don't rely on what your spouse's attorney tells you. He of she is working for your spouse--not you! Once the decree is signed, it's too late to make changes.

Rule Two - Don't hire your cousin the real estate attorney simply because he is family. He may be giving you a reduced rate, but you will lose much more in the long run by retaining him. Seek out an attorney who specializes in family law. He or she is in divorce/family court for much of his/her practice and knows the ins and outs. You should settle for nothing else.

Rule Three - Consult your friends who have been through a divorce. Ask them what they liked about their attorneys and what they didn't like. Fancy offices count for nothing; fancy legal footwork is what matters. Make sure you know why your friends preferred the attorney they are recommending to you.

Rule Four - Many divorces go beyond messy, they achieve the status of a crusade in a short amount of time. Husbands refuse to hire female attorneys, but more often wives prefer them. I can assure you that just because an attorney is female, it doesn't make her more qualified to represent the scorned wife. It is her relationship with the judge and her knowledge of the law that either makes her the one for you or not. Don't hesitate to retain a lawyer of the opposite sex simply because you currently have hard feelings toward that gender. You may receive more commiseration, but what you need is legal action.

All that being said, I'm always asked who is the best family attorney in divorce and child custody suits. The best for one person might not be the best for everyone, but generally it is. I don't seek to use this blog to promote certain individuals, but to help readers. Yet, sometimes, doing the latter is also doing the former.

If you need the name and number of an excellent attorney who will work with you to achieve what you want, who will offer sound legal advice and not pie-in-the-sky, then please e-mail me at:

I hope none of my readers ever need the services of such an attorney, but if you do, I can assure you that you will be well represented.

What's up with this: It seems various links to the Courthouse Forum are often down due to high traffic. Could this be partially because of intense interest in a certain local judge?