Marriage is difficult enough without having an attorney who encourages divorce. This indicates that your lawyer is focused more on the big check he’ll receive at the end of your divorce proceedings than on your best interests. When your attorney encourages divorce, this can have a negative impact on your ability to make logical, rational decisions about the end of your marriage.
If you think it is rare to hire an attorney who encourages divorce, consider the law firm of Fetman, Garland & Associates, Ltd. In 2007, ABC News reported that the law firm had erected a billboard that read “Life’s Short. Get a Divorce” with pictures of scantily-clad male and female characters to either side. The law firm defended its position in designing the billboard, but however you feel about it, there are obvious signs that divorce is encouraged by many law firms and individual attorneys.
The motivation of an attorney who encourages divorce is obvious: he wants to make money. However, this can bring into question your own motives for separating from your spouse. Are you going by what your attorney says about marriage and your relationship, or have you made an informed decision based on your own feelings? It is easy to get caught up in a whirlwind of anger and resentment fueled by a third party, but how do you really feel?
It isn’t just your attorney who encourages divorce, either. You might be feeling pressure from friends or family members who do not approve of your marriage, in which case your judgment might be clouded. This is a dangerous way to end a relationship because you might regret your decision later; if your attorney encourages divorce, I recommend a cooling-off period during which you have no contact with either your lawyer or your spouse so you can sort out your feelings.
Solving the Problem
If you feel like your attorney encourages divorce, there are several ways in which you can handle the situation. Perhaps he’s made inappropriate comments that you feel are unwarranted, or maybe he’s talked you out of rescinding your divorce papers. Whatever the case, it is important to have a logical and objective mind when you deal with this type of situation.
The first option when your attorney encourages divorce is to confront him. Let him know that you need to handle the emotional aspects of your separation on your own, and that you need his advice only in legal matters. This might stop the comments, insinuations and unsolicited advice, or it might not. However, if you think your attorney is a good one, you might not want to give him the boot.
If, however, your attorney encourages divorce and has made you uncomfortable, you might want to find someone else to represent you in your divorce case. This is especially true if your lawyer has done something illegal, such as breaching attorney-client privilege or engaging in illegal activity to gain you favor with the court. It is best not to associated with this type of legal counsel.
Of course, in the case of illegal activity, it is in your best interests to let the authorities know what has happened. You can lodge an official complaint with the National Bar Association, for starters, and you might even want to file a lawsuit against an attorney who encourages divorce.
Chris Francescani, ‘Life’s Short. Get a Divorce.’ — Chicago Billboard Turns Heads, ABC News