“I need a shark” I hear this often from clients who think the way to win a child custody or divorce case is to hire the most vicious, mean, abrasive, and aggressive attorney they can find. They want to make the other person’s life a nightmare. There are times when it is appropriate to be a shark.
“I just want out” is a frequent comment from the guys I represent. By the time the guy comes to the attorney’s office, he’s usually already decided on getting a divorce and is ready to give her anything she wants, just to be free. Fatal error. leaked. He looks to give up the road a lot for peace of mind.
“I’m out, and now I’m going to accept 50/50 child custody.” Yeah, not much. Unless your ex is a traveling saleswoman, you won’t get a court granting you 50% custody when you leave the house. Another phrase I hear often is: “She’s not a good mother, and I want full custody.” If it’s really dangerous, you shouldn’t leave it, but instead hand it over to the Child Protection Agency, or request a restraining order that protects you and your children.
These are three scenarios I frequently encounter and they illustrate the different roles I play as a lawyer.
Sometimes I’m a shark and have to be very aggressive and relentless. I had it in case I learned that the ex-wife remarried, but denied it so that she could continue to collect alimony. We hired a private investigator and kept looking until we found the evidence we needed to stop paying her. We spent several thousand dollars but saved more than a hundred thousand.
Other times I have to be a protector for my client, against his wishes. I have to fight with him to make sure he doesn’t give up too much to make peace. Men do not value money and possessions, and they usually have the mentality that they will make more money and buy new things. But there is no reason for them to give up more than half in the event of a divorce, and often my job is to make sure they don’t.
Parents want to be active participants in their children’s lives. But what they don’t realize is that they must fight hard and strategize long before they separate to make sure that their rights will be respected and respected, not by the mother, but by the court. Men need to know the options available to them, and their legal rights and obligations, before making any drastic changes in the state of family law. The biggest mistake most men make is to act first and seek advice second. When they do, I must be the voice of reality explaining to them why they already lost the war and didn’t even know they were fighting.