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Defending Against the Ridiculous in Family Law

I like reason and logic. I'm attracted to reason and logic. I abhor the unreasonable and the illogical. As a result, I typically attract reasonable and logical people who want to be my Family Law clients because, well, they like reason and logic, too. And often, the other party tends to be reasonable and logical because, well, people who are reasonable and logical tend to attract reasonable and logical people to marry. Sometimes, reason and logic continue to rule the day and families find their ways through the court system in such a way that results in healthy new family dynamics.

But so often, something happens to once reasonable and logical people when the emotional madness of a family law case sets in. Where once sat someone who was attracted to reasonable results and logical conclusions, now sits a person at the mediation table during a divorce who has decided the time has come to draw the line in the sand at such a point where no rational resolution may be obtained. "I am prepared to fight until the death!" they declare as they assert the classic "my way or the highway" approach to resolving their marital strife.

Maybe it was that month long full moon or the solar eclipse or the still, mild summer or the constant rain, but I have had a seemingly increased number of cases where my client and I look at the other side's position and say "this is ridiculous." It is ridiculous for the other party to claim she's not getting child support when her own bank records show he's paying more than the actual child support obligation requires. It's ridiculous for him to say she's brainwashed the child into living with her when he's the one who kicked the child out of his house. It's ridiculous to say he is in contempt when no document supports it and every shred of document refutes it.

And my client understandably says, "I shouldn't be saddled with dealing with this ridiculousness." And they are correct - they should not be saddled with it. But they are. The unfortunate aspect to defending against the ridiculous is it is incredibly easy to become complacent. It's easy to think - the Judge will see right through this. But you cannot simply opt out when you are a named party to a lawsuit. You must get in the game, no matter how ridiculous. You must engage in discovery, you must show up to the hearing and, most importantly, you must show up to the hearing well-prepared. If you don't defend against the ridiculous, the ridiculous will prevail. We are seeing that play out on a daily basis these days.

So your soon-to-be ex-spouse is ridiculous. Don't them ridiculous you out of custody or into the poor house. Respond, even if it is to the Mad Hatter.

David Purvis

P.S. I'm curious - how many of you googled "month long full moon"??? 

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