> The legal and accounting bills for the divorce total four million dollars so far, which is an average of roughly $170,000 per month for the past 24 months. Journalists were quick to mock the poor "broke" guy that had $200k a month expenses, failing to note that legal fees constituted the majority.
That's utterly despicable - Grellas, can you help us put together a plan to disbar and exile everyone involved in the divorce racket or something? Talk about a destruction of wealth, energy, time, and life - it's embarrassing that we let this happen to people in the United States.
Our family/divorce courts and the associated personnel are destructive, vindictive, and capricious. This needs to change. Why do people stand for it? What can we do?
My parents divorced two years ago. I was paying my mother's attorney bills because she had no money and hadn't had a job in 35 years.
After the first bill from my mother's attorney, for $15,000, I asked the firm to cap expenses at $5,000. I explained that I was just a kid and didn't have $15k per month to spend. They agreed, in writing.
Then they didn't invoice for 4 months, and at the end of that 4 month period (when nothing really happened in the divorce), they invoiced for $175,000.
It's currently in arbitration with the Virginia State Bar, two years later. Hopefully we'll prevail, but it's not looking good.
Divorce attorneys are the lowest, most predatory "profession" on the planet. Exorbitant divorce fees are not just a plight of the wealthy.
I have no solutions, and hope Grellas can weigh in on this thread.
Her lawyer (an older, grandfatherly gentleman) treated her in an apparently very caring manner, repeatedly calling her at night to see if she was okay and discuss minor issues of the case, always managing to get her upset and then spend a couple of hours comforting her and giving her advice. Then she found out he was billing for that time, so she stopped answering his calls after five o'clock.
Her husband had a similar realization that the case had turned into them against the lawyers, so they agreed to simultaneously fire their lawyers and hire new ones. Then they went back to hurling neglect, abuse, and mental illness accusations at each other and fighting over custody. Years later, having lived in separate states for many years, they can barely stand to talk on the phone three or four times a year to coordinate on the daughter going to see his side of the family. But in the middle of a nasty divorce, they managed to agree about the lawyers.
But thank you.
(I'm assuming the upvotes are a way of saying "I'm sorry dude, I feel your pain". If so, they are much appreciated.)
Abandon the institution of marriage entirely. Nuke it from orbit, as it were. It's the only way to be sure.
The legal end of it is a mere wealth-redistribution mechanism. The social end of it is made of community who loves to witness people getting into marriages, but they scatter during the demise. So what function does it perform? From my perspective, it only serves to weaken commitment by trying to offload the responsibility of staying together to a legal framework.
Can anybody make a good case for continuing the charade?
Many marriages are entered into by two parties with the agreement that one party will be the primary caretaker of the children (home-maker), which is a profession that is unpaid. The other party will work outside the home and provide money for the family. In that case, the years of work that the home-maker has put in should be recognized as valid work, and in the event of a break-up of the marriage, the home-maker should continue to receive monetary support from the other party, as they (often) have no viable other professional skills. This needs to be enforceable in court in the interest of people whose profession is home-maker.
This is also why gay marriage (and gay divorce) should be legally codified like straight marriage is. People need legal recourse to persist their own standards of living.
If someone entering into a marriage does not want to take on the lifetime of responsibility of providing for the person who is promising to take on the role of home-maker in their household, perhaps they shouldn't enter into a marriage.
The question (probably similar to patents,) is: How can we protect the spirit of why this law is in place (to recognize the contribution of those who may not be directly compensated and give them their appropriate share), without letting people completely exploit and abuse it.
Looked at it that way, its an extremely hard problem with a myriad of economic and social issues along with a bunch of vested interests. Sigh...
That's a valid point, but do we need a one-size-fits-all approach, i.e. all marriages are the same contract? Arguably, we do not, so why not just let the parties directly involved decide what terms to have for their own marriage contracts (which might include inter alia some provision for cheap arbitration rather than expensive predatory lawyers if things break down).
I'm not worried about the external social part of it, but the personal part of it is that many people (including myself) enjoyed both getting and being married. Obviously, YMMV.
I guess that marriage has some "legal framework" but I've never even thought of it in that way. To me it is a personal declaration of two-way commitment, made in front of friends and family, and it's worth as much, and as little, as how you live by it. Same as any commitment, I guess.
I like being married. It's not a charade to me. If you don't like me being married, because you don't like divorce lawyers, so be it.
Most people think that, after they've been living with their partner for a couple of years, they become 'common law husband and wife' with the same rights as married couples. This is not the case. In fact, couples who live together have hardly any of the same rights as married couples or civil partners.
There is no such thing as ‘common law marriage’.
British law vs say Roman law.
Because of the widespread nature of the British empire remnants of these laws (and remnants of the Empire, such as the Queen being formally the supreme being in Canada) are still found all over the world, even if a lot of those laws have been abolished in the UK itself.
I think you mean English common law. There's not such thing as "British law" as such, because Scotland has its own legal system (which incidently is partly based on Roman law).
So maybe they're not that crazy :)
What bugs me most about the entire gay marriage debate is that it implies that the government should have control over the institution of marriage. The solution to the gay marriage debate is not to make it legal for gay people to get married, but to make it so that the government doesn't decide who can get married.
For example, immigration sponsorship. As a gay man with a non-American partner, this comes to mind first.
Currently, spouses do not have to testify against each other in court. This isn't codified in any law but British Common law (afaik). There are a few of these pleasantries that would have to be figured out.
Then, there are over 1,000 legal rights codified into contract law. Some of these can be emulated (power of attorney), some cannot.
It's a hard problem.
Reforming marriage laws to apply equally regardless of sexual orientation or to simplify divorce, on the other hand, do seem more like near-term achievable goals.
Don't tell me, let me guess: it was lobbying by lawyers that created that law, right?
The equivalent of the flat tax for divorce: some very simple, predictable rules that require little or no arbitration. Suppose the rule was that Elon gives x% of his assets to Justine within y months of the divorce, plus $z/month, end of story. No lawyers or court fees need to be involved.
It may be a rigged game but he played it voluntarily.