In tonight’s installment, our story diverges again. Our divorce protagonist is still looking for the right firm. To read part III(b), click here.
Two firms down, one to go. You are tired. Tired of your story. Tired of the mess your life is in. Maybe even tired of your life. All you know for sure now is that you miss your kids.
You find the address and pull into the parking lot, noticing how close the firm is to the court house. “That can’t hurt,” you think to yourself.
Inside, you are greeted and offered the sofa. The receptionist hands you the intake questionaire. You are told that your attorney will be right with you. Soon after you’ve returned the questionaire to the receptionist, you are greeted by your attorney. “Come on back to my office.”
In the office, nicely appointed, you tell your story. You are weary. The story has become basic, all personal interest removed. Your attorney listens, makes some notes. When you’ve finished, the attorney asks some follow up, clarifies a few things to make sure they’ve got it right.
“Something isn’t fitting here,” the attorney tells you. “There is more here that you don’t know. People don’t just up and do this. There’s a plan involved and my bet is that it has been in the works for a good while.”
You reitterate that you had no idea it was coming, it was so sudden. “Blitzkrieg,” says the attorney. “An old and reliable strategy. She’s been getting ready for the battle long before you even knew there was a war.”
“I know this opposing counsel. Good attorney. Good in the sense that he knows what he’s doing and his abilities should be respected. I know the Judge. Fair. Follows the law but just as importantly, knows how family law works. He’s seen thousands of cases on the bench. Given what I think is going on, that should work for you.”
“What we would do is file your Answer and Counterclaim immediately and ask for a Rule Nisi, a temporary hearing. It will take about a month for that to come up. That’s a long time to go without seeing your kids so we’ll work on that, but regardless of how Opposing Counsel handles that issue, it will work for you.”
“What about my finances?” you ask.
“It will all be made right, but the issue is when is it ripe to make it right,” your attorney responds. “How do you get paid?”
“By check, not direct deposit. I get paid at the end of this week.”
“Open a new account with only your name. Put your check in there. Talk to your bank about an immediate credit card so you’ve got some wiggle room.”
“Judges like their schedules,” your attorney explains. “We want to do things within the judge’s schedule, not make them jump through our hoops. We could ask for an emergency hearing for all of this, but you are far from certain to get one under these facts. Emergency hearings are used for children in dire risk of harm. We seek an emergency hearing and not only do we start your case with a big, fat ‘no’ from the Judge, but we’ve also burned energy and a fair bit of money to an unproductive end.”
“Use your money very wisely,” advises your attorney. “What your wife has done, she has done. She can’t change that and she doesn’t look good for it. We will find out what she is up to. We’ll try to get your divorce to make more sense so that you wind up with a much more reasonable outcome, one you can live with.”
You like this attorney. You like this firm. No drama. No fuss. Common sense talk. Effective. You want to hire them.
“Sleep on it,” your attorney recommends. “Talk to your friends or family. See if I make as much sense tomorrow. If I do, then hire us. You are making a big decision. Don’t rush it.”
You thank the attorney for their time. You leave feeling more in control and less stressed out. You feel like you are coming out of the dark hole your wife threw you in and you are pleasantly surprised to learn that you don’t have to play her hateful game to see this divorce through.
The next morning, you call the firm bright and early to retain. While it is not yet all good, it is certainly much better.
Michael practices in our Marietta and Atlanta offices, however is serves our clients in all of our offices including Canton, Lawrenceville, Gainesville and Savannah