No one wants to be the bad guy. No one wants to be the one who raises the stakes until it’s past the boiling point. Everyone dreams of having a happy ending even in a divorce. The truth of it all is that the happiest and the fairest agreements of all are usually the ones where no one is happy. There’s so much give and take that those who want to be nice end up giving up everything just to be nice or to get the situation over with for once and all. Is that fair? What happens when the story is over and you’re left with an ending that’s the equivalent to Two and A Half Men’s Series Finale? Or Dexter’s? You should’ve listened to your lawyer. Here’s 3 times that you should listen to your lawyer and let her be the bad guy (or girl… like Cat Woman – who doesn’t love Cat Woman?!)
- If we say it’s a bad agreement, it is. We’re not greedy. (Haha, okay, some lawyers really are very greedy, but they don’t normally advise you not to settle just to get more money. Normally the greedy ones will start unnecessary filings left and right to deplete your retainer before negotiations even begin.) We’re not going to lead you into pointless fighting that you’ll lose if we go to court. We are looking at our experience, case law, similar cases our colleagues have had. We typically know which way the court sways. If we say multiple times that it’s not a good agreement, but take it if you want to take it. That’s not us blowing smoke. That is a warning that you are being a push over.
- If we say to record conversations, we’re not doing it just for our amusement. He said, she said. That’s just how that goes. There’s countless times when people say that their ex is badgering them or saying these terrible threats, but they have no proof. There’s no witness because the other person is smart and cunning. The bad guy always is. The other person waits until no one else is around and cuts you down. You are left tattling later with no proof on your side. Then that same cunning devil, well, he/she gets to get up on the stand and lie their way out of trouble.
- Unleash the dragon. Sometimes it’s okay to blame your lawyer. You can use us as a scapegoat left and right. We don’t mind. We’re accustomed to being hated. If you’re going to court, there’s conflict. Maybe you want to be able to have a decent custody exchange so you don’t want to admit that you’re the one pushing for a little more alimony. It’s perfectly fine to say that your lawyer is pushing you into asking for more. If we minded so much, do you think there would be so many lawyer jokes in existence? We think they’re funny too. Let us be the mean guy and push for what you deserve. We often try negotiating first, but we know when it’s necessary to go from being Elle Woods nice to being David Lee mean (these are famous fictional lawyers that you should learn about now if you don’t).