Sister's husband filing for divorce. When does she need her own lawyer?
September 12, 2015 8:54 PM   Subscribe

She's got a meeting scheduled with her husband and his lawyer, and she doesn't have a lawyer of her own yet.

Brief timeline:
1. Happy marriage (apparently) for 10 years. He works long hours. She's a stay-at-home mom to 4 young kids.
2. One day, he admits to an affair, and lying to her on many occasions. Says he's miserable. Thinks the marriage should end.
3. She refuses a dissolution. Wants to make the marriage work.
4. She eventually convinces him to go to couple's counseling with him. Counselor basically agrees with her, tells him he's got to get his act together. He stops going to counseling.
5. He moves out, moves in with his parents, who gradually become more sympathetic to his side of things. Start blaming my sister for not being a good enough wife. Wondering why my family has so much sympathy for her, so little for him.
6. He has now filed for no-fault divorce, citing "incompatibility".
7. First meeting with husband and husband's lawyer is coming up. Sister does not yet have a lawyer.

She says her plan is to go to the meeting, listen to what they have to say, sign nothing, take the papers/forms they give her, and then find another lawyer and show them the papers, or otherwise figure out what to do from there.. Apparently, this is what her counselor suggests. Her counselor, herself a divorcée, says that when she divorced her husband, that's what she did, and they even ended up using the same lawyer.

My family's gut instinct is that she shouldn't walk into that meeting without her own lawyer. But we really don't know.

Our primary concern is this: when they got married, my sister moved away from us so that they could be near her husband's family. Assuming the divorce goes through, she (and the kids) will probably eventually move back near us -- both because of not wanting to be near her ex, and also because of the increasingly poor treatment she's getting from his family.

We don't know much about divorce proceedings, but we're all afraid that they (the husband and his lawyer) will try to make it harder for her to ever move back. Is this a reasonable fear? Is it normal to go through some (or any? or all?) of the divorce proceedings with only one of the spouses represented?
posted by TheBraveLittleSock to Law & Government (50 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
and they even ended up using the same lawyer

Well now there's a red flag! Or at least evidence that the counselor's situation was nothing like your sisters.

She should probably get a lawyer when she decides she doesn't want to get completely screwed by her husband and his lawyer. It's not like a lawyer is going to give her a discount for waiting until the last minute or something.
posted by ryanrs at 9:05 PM on September 12, 2015 [29 favorites]

Now. She needs a lawyer now. Depending on where they live and the circumstances, there are any number of ways her husband could already be working to screw her on division of assets, alimony, custody, etc. Her husband can make it damned near impossible for her to move with the children, and could use the fact that she wants to move to argue that she should lose primary custody. He could drain her bank accounts. He could leave her penniless. And the longer that he has expert legal advice and she doesn't, the bigger his advantage over her gets.

You can't know whether he will try to do any of those things. Maybe he'll be a nice guy, and they'll be able to divorce amicably and agree on everything and use the same lawyer. But maybe he will take everything from her and leave her with nothing. And she won't know what he's planning to do until it's too late.

IAAL, IANAdivorceL, TINLA. This is not my advice as a lawyer; this is my advice as a woman who has seen people get totally screwed in divorces because their spouses had good advice and they did not.
posted by decathecting at 9:08 PM on September 12, 2015 [78 favorites]

Oh, and she may want to consider reporting her counselor to whatever mental health or medical board licenses her, because she's giving unauthorized and extremely dangerous legal advice, which I have to assume is totally outside the scope of what she's licensed to do as a counselor. And that needs to end right now.
posted by decathecting at 9:09 PM on September 12, 2015 [56 favorites]

She can get a lawyer now. Her lawyer can talk with his lawyer. There's no reason she needs to meet with his lawyer at all.

If it were me, that's what I would do. On the other hand, your sister is not me, and divorce is a hugely emotionally overwhelming time, and if she's more comfortable with her plan right now, it may be best not to push her too much, especially since she does say she's planning on getting her own lawyer eventually.

I would also, as a therapist myself, strongly caution against anyone taking legal advice from a therapist.
posted by jaguar at 9:10 PM on September 12, 2015 [8 favorites]

Yes she needs a lawyer. She needs to accept that it's over. She's in denial and likely reeling from the shock and her husband will use it to his advantage to screw her over and the children if she doesn't get her own lawyer ASAP. She needs someone to look out for her and the kids! And it's not going to be the lawyer hired by the guy who thought it was perfectly fine to lie and cheat his wife and kids. It's go time.
posted by discopolo at 9:11 PM on September 12, 2015 [5 favorites]

She can also just refuse to go to this meeting, if she's feeling time pressure on getting a lawyer before the meeting.
posted by jaguar at 9:14 PM on September 12, 2015 [33 favorites]

Her councilor is giving horrible, negligent advice. It brings into question her competence in other areas of counseling.
You should buy Jeffrey A. Landers "Think Financially, Not Emotionally" books and workbook, read it yourself, and then go over it with her. She is likely not in a mental state to be able to concentrate reading it, let alone having the time while raising 4 kids.
Look into a divorce consultant who can advise on getting a lawyer, and refer to jayder's post on choosing a lawyer.
posted by Sophont at 9:21 PM on September 12, 2015 [3 favorites]

Oh yikes, that set up seems bad. I know nothing about the law but from what youve said, her husband (and his family, WTF?) are planning on screwing her over big time. That he's allowing his family to think badly of her already is bad news bears. I think she needs to skip the meeting until she's had a chance to find a better therapist and definitely a lawyer. She needs someone non emotionally involved to be on her side.
posted by kitten magic at 9:32 PM on September 12, 2015 [5 favorites]

Depending on the jurisdiction, if the divorce paperwork has been filed, there may already be an automatic order in effect that makes it impossible for her to move until the court orders otherwise. Your sister will probably get served with this paperwork at this meeting, and if she becomes emotional or upset, this kind of behavior may become evidence against her in the future.

The husband has repeatedly cheated and lied, and filed for a divorce, and his family is being terrible to your sister. Trusting the husband and his lawyer to be kind at the meeting seems risky. The MeFi Wiki Get a lawyer page has general information about how to find an attorney.
posted by Little Dawn at 9:42 PM on September 12, 2015 [26 favorites]

Nthing getting a lawyer and not going to the meeting but wanted to add that you shouldn't assume she's moving back. As far as I know the norm nowadays is 50/50 custody. Unless he has abused the children, the law (IANAL) is that both parents should equally care for the children.
posted by k8t at 9:42 PM on September 12, 2015 [2 favorites]

Ugh, why does she even know what his family is thinking? If they aren't treating her well, she should set some firmer boundaries with them. Also, it's a huge deal to move kids away from a parent. That alone seems like reason enough for her to get one, ASAP, and before any meeting.

Here's the other thing, though. It's rough, but your sister's husband gets to decide to end the marriage. It doesn't matter if she was happy or what the therapist's opinion was. Casting blame on him isn't necessarily going to help your sister, and it could really make it sucky for their kids. Yeah, he won't be her husband anymore, but he's forever their father. Divorce sucks the most for kids. Moving them away from a parent out of anger isn't necessarily going to be better for them.
posted by bluedaisy at 9:54 PM on September 12, 2015 [4 favorites]

My not-legal-advice speculation is that the aggressive tactic of scheduling a meeting with him and his attorney is a reflection of how strong your sister's custody case may be - she's the primary caretaker, and the kids are young, and the in-laws have been hostile to her.

Laws vary by jurisdiction, but a family law attorney may be able to do a lot with those facts in order to protect the best interests of the children, including a custody and visitation arrangement that allows your sister to move back to her supportive family.
posted by Little Dawn at 9:56 PM on September 12, 2015 [4 favorites]

She should not go to that meeting unless he is already promising her the moon and back.

She needs to know what is more important to him- the kids or the assets. He probably isn't going to let her keep both. If he loves his assets, trade them for full custody with permission for her to move the children back home. Yes, she will be poor and yes, it sucks that she was a stay at home mom and will now have to work but it will be cheaper in the end than fighting for custody and the right to move. You can always get more money but your children's childhood is not replaceable and doesn't last that long.

It is not a no fault divorce. He had an affair and he is abandoning the marriage. His lawyer knows that her future lawyer can really get her a lot with this. His lawyer is going to do anything he can to keep her from getting her own lawyer.
posted by myselfasme at 9:57 PM on September 12, 2015 [7 favorites]

I'm sorry myselfasme but legally both partners have access to assets and kids. This is why the sister needs a lawyer.
posted by k8t at 10:04 PM on September 12, 2015 [10 favorites]

Your sister can also ask her attorney about having the court order him to pay her attorney fees - sometimes the fault of a party can be helpful for winning both attorney fees and alimony, and if he has to pay for the costs of the litigation, maybe he'll be more reasonable about settlement.
posted by Little Dawn at 10:06 PM on September 12, 2015 [1 favorite]

It sounds like your sister has a case of Good Guy Syndrome - she knows she didn't cheat, didn't want to end the marriage, probably doesn't want a contentious divorce - she wants to be the clear Good Guy, and not having a lawyer is a symptom of that - that she isn't trying to be difficult.

The problem with that is, her husband has no problem with being the bad guy, and when it comes to divorce, the bad guys generally win because the good guys would rather roll over and be right than fight for what's actually fair.

Divorce is awful and painful and expensive enough without having to kick yourself later for not approaching it with a clear head about the need to fight back. She needs a lawyer at that meeting. Ideally only the lawyer should go, and report back to her. Not just because she needs the advice and protection, but also because it will get her into the frame of mind she needs to protect herself financially as well as emotionally: That good guys also fight for what they deserve.
posted by Mchelly at 10:09 PM on September 12, 2015 [46 favorites]

Her counselor should not be giving her legal advice. (Truly, that's astonishingly poor professional behavior on her counselor's part--lack of boundaries about her personal life and giving advice outside of her professional discipline.) Your sister should find a lawyer now and ask her lawyer what meetings her lawyer should attend.
posted by Meg_Murry at 10:20 PM on September 12, 2015 [4 favorites]

Even in a reasonably amicable, non contested divorce (like I had), each partner should have the chance to consult a lawyer on their own. That doesn't mean that a long legal relationship needs to develop. Still, it's a safeguard against sudden changes in the other partner's attitude. Who knows what can happen; this is a very confusing time even in the best of circumstances.

But when kids are involved, and/or income discrepancy, among other things, she needs to RUN to find a good lawyer to represent her and only her. This is not becoming adversarial; this is good sense.

A smart legal agreement will save time, worry and money for both parties. And if things aren't so smart... she's prepared.
posted by St. Hubbins at 10:27 PM on September 12, 2015 [5 favorites]

I'm sorry, she really needs a lawyer. It's possible to find one mediator for both parties, but her husband's lawyer is not a substitute for a mediator.

I've been her, and a lawyer saved me from many stupid and costly mistakes. I'm so sorry for her. (It also sounds like she needs a new counselor-- from what you describe here there are several red flags).
posted by frumiousb at 11:01 PM on September 12, 2015 [3 favorites]

If he has a lawyer, she needs a lawyer. Now.
posted by erst at 11:03 PM on September 12, 2015 [4 favorites]

She is the stay at home mother to four children. She needs a lawyer to protect their interests. Interim spousal support and child support are going to be very critical and very urgent issues. She knows less than you do about this and needs qualified advice and representation.
posted by DarlingBri at 11:31 PM on September 12, 2015 [18 favorites]

She needs a lawyer NOW. She should absolutely, totally refuse to meet with him and his lawyer without a lawyer of her own there to protect her interests. She should not trust one single word her husband or his lawyer say to her, unless it is both in writing and checked by her own lawyer. She should also get a new, competent, ethical therapist.

Going to any meeting without her own lawyer is just BEGGING to be screwed over.
posted by easily confused at 1:10 AM on September 13, 2015 [12 favorites]

So clearly as you can see from the responses, she needs to lawyer up now.

Have her interview wisely because she needs a motherf*cking SHARK. She needs someone with a proven track record of bleeding people dry because with 4 kids, she needs to take him to the cleaners and consider the next 20+ years of what her kids will need (tutors, extracurriculars, camps, braces, after school care, cars, college, etc.).

Her husband has shown that he is the worst possible kind of person and that is going to play out in his offer.

Some more advice which I WISH TO GOD I HAD KNOWN when I got divorced with 3 little kids: make sure that college funds and life insurance policies and retirement plans for her that he pays into are built into the child support order. The state department of revenue is happy to be responsible for getting that money withdrawn from his paycheck or by liens on any property or accounts he owns and she doesn't have to do it herself. Don't have him fund those accounts on his own, because if he decides to stop, she has to hire a lawyer to sue him and in court he can say he's broke and all that money for the future is GONE.*

So yes. Lawyer up. And find someone who can bleed him dry and protect her and the kids for YEARS to come.

*This is exactly what my ex did. Cashed out the college funds, spent the $, cancelled the life insurance policies, refused to pay anything other than state-mandated minimum child support and I couldn't collect a dime because my lawyer never thought to get it built into the child support order.
posted by kinetic at 3:21 AM on September 13, 2015 [47 favorites]

She needed a lawyer the moment he said he wanted a divorce. Depending on her location, he may have already consulted with the best ones and thus blocked her from hiring them due to conflict (yes, this really happened to a friend of mine). He does not have her well-being in mind, and she needs to take steps to protect herself and her children.
posted by snickerdoodle at 4:09 AM on September 13, 2015 [4 favorites]

I think the hive mind consensus is pretty clear here OP! I hope your sister takes note.
posted by pharm at 4:17 AM on September 13, 2015

he may have already consulted with the best ones and thus blocked her from hiring them due to conflict (yes, this really happened to a friend of mine)

THIS. Have her start setting up meetings immediately.
posted by kinetic at 4:21 AM on September 13, 2015 [4 favorites]

Explain to her sister that in many many languages the exact translation of "lawyer" is "advocate". That's what she needs an advocate. Someone who's ONLY interest in the process is HER well being. It's not about screwing anyone or anything it's about self preservation. Wish her luck.
posted by chasles at 4:45 AM on September 13, 2015 [4 favorites]

It seems like she is still hoping for reconciliation.
I would tell her this:
having a lawyer is not the same as being hostile
having a lawyer is about having support
having a lawyer gives her more options in the future
anything she says during that meeting could be used against her even if she doesn't SIGN anything
her getting a lawyer is in the best interest of the kids

Having a lawyer does not preclude an amicable divorce.
Finally, good on you for being there for her.
posted by M. at 5:21 AM on September 13, 2015 [15 favorites]

Someone who's ONLY interest in the process is HER well being.

True. But she also needs someone who can advocate for her kids as they look to the future, imagine every possible worst case scenario if the dad bails/stops paying/disappears/dies/whatever and ensure as much as they can that she AND the kids are protected in any possible situation.

A really good lawyer knows that a partner may truly have every intention at this point in time to financially support the kid(s). But then other things happen. Kids get older and the financial needs change. Kids need other things. Club fees. Team sports. Braces. A car. College. SAT prep courses. Uniforms. Cleats. Math tutors. School trips. Expensive things. Things they may not be considering right now because the kids are younger. And the dad often decides he's not really up for putting money into them because DAMN kids are expensive. And 4 of them? Maybe he'd rather go on a vacation or get new golf clubs or just improve his own living standard to something more comfortable or whatever it is he decides to do instead of pouring money into college funds, etc.

She wants someone who can anticipate every trick in the book and protect everyone. In the world of divorce lawyers, she wants a shark.
posted by kinetic at 5:31 AM on September 13, 2015 [9 favorites]

Never attend a meeting with an adversary's lawyer without your own lawyer in-tow.
Full stop.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:16 AM on September 13, 2015 [16 favorites]

Nothing what everyone has said:

- she cannot move with the children now that divorce has been filed
- she should not attend this meeting, all communication must go through her lawyer
- she needs a lawyer, ASAP, to protect her interests and those of her children
- it is in her children's best interests to have both parents (mom & dad) active in their lives, moving away is a terrible idea
- she needs to stop talking to him, his family, or anyone who is friends with him
- she needs to google "180" and do a total 180 on him -- it is her ONLY hope of saving this marriage (
- lawyering up and protecting herself and her kids does NOT keep them from reconciling, a divorce can be stopped at any time
posted by LittleMy at 6:21 AM on September 13, 2015

Omg!!! Just read the Fpp and skipped all the comments to come say, GET HER A LAWYER NOW!! I know my fellow mefites are saying the same thing. I've just been through a terrible divorce and two things, she has to have a good lawyer and she has to document everything!! EVERYTHING! And this counselor should be shot for giving her advice like that.
posted by pearlybob at 6:59 AM on September 13, 2015 [4 favorites]

The fact that there's another woman involved is also a huge risk factor. What happens if that woman wants kids too? She's going to want your BIL's assets for her own kids. This is a messy situation even if everyone were acting in good faith. Lawyer up.
posted by snickerdoodle at 7:03 AM on September 13, 2015 [6 favorites]

There's no reason she should imagine that a partner who lies to her will make any effort to be fair and even-handed in his attempts to divide up their lives.

Shit happens in divorce actions. While I can't give you a probability estimate, many people who are clawing their way out of unhappy marriages have been spectacularly unfair, even going so far as to hide assets and/or to accuse the other spouse of being a bad parent. It's good to have strategy and tactics in mind for any kind of sneak attack. Emptying the joint bank account is a pretty common thing that one spouse does to another, often the one initiating the divorce.

Your family may need to be prepared to help your sister with loans, in the short term, if that is possible.
posted by puddledork at 7:25 AM on September 13, 2015

I think it's pretty clear that a lawyer is absolutely needed here.

If she needs more convincing, this is all I'd add: There are four little people who really need Mom right now. They can't look out for their own interests. They can't protect themselves. A lawyer can help Mom do that. Getting an attorney doesn't mean your sister is hostile and it doesn't even mean she's giving up on the marriage and embracing the idea of divorce. It means that she's doing everything she can to protect her children.
posted by pecanpies at 8:42 AM on September 13, 2015 [8 favorites]

Get a lawyer and DON'T go to the meeting, dear god. Tell them to start talking to her lawyer. Period. It sounds like she is trying to be reasonable, but she has to understand she is working with a completely unreasonable person.

She needs to protect herself, but more than anything her FOUR CHILDREN!! She can't take care of them without an income and she is going to need a kick ass lawyer to make sure she gets what she needs.

Also, get a new therapist, my lord.
posted by Toddles at 9:07 AM on September 13, 2015 [3 favorites]

This is an emergency situation. She needs to get on the phone with the best lawyers possible and start setting up consultations as soon as possible. Get a fucking shark. There are absolutely no benefits to waiting, and it will give her husband and his lawyer even more time to maneuver. Definitely do not go to the meeting without a lawyer.
posted by studioaudience at 9:07 AM on September 13, 2015 [2 favorites]

TheBraveLittleSock: "She's a stay-at-home mom to 4 young kids."

She needs a lawyer YESTERDAY. Even if this were the most amicable divorce in the history of the world, a SAHM of small children absolutely needs a lawyer.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:23 AM on September 13, 2015 [14 favorites]

Your sister's counselor was presumably already employed and capable of supporting herself when she got divorced, which is nice for her, but she's a really shit counselor if she can't figure out the difference between how she did it and how other people should do it.

Your sister has no income and is not immensely employable if she hasn't worked in years, and will be on the hook for childcare for 4 kids. She will be homeless with 4 children if he decides he'd rather keep all his money, and living with his parents may be Step 1 to presenting a picture of a man who cannot afford support. She needs a lawyer yesterday.
posted by Lyn Never at 9:59 AM on September 13, 2015 [5 favorites]

She needs a lawyer now, before meeting with them.
posted by J. Wilson at 10:16 AM on September 13, 2015 [1 favorite]

having a lawyer is not the same as being hostile

Yes yes yes.

OP, this question has really stuck with me (mostly because I'm a newly minted social worker and am completely appalled at her counselor's behavior). I wanted to add that because she's trying to be fair and kind, and because she didn't want the divorce in the first place, it may feel really confrontational and final to hire a lawyer. You'd do well to try to help her see it's not. The lawyer's job is not to screw over her husband, but to help her through a complex and emotionally difficult process. She will have more emotional resources (for herself, for her kids, even for her ex) if she's not also trying--as a non-expert--to slog through the legal process alone.
posted by Meg_Murry at 11:13 AM on September 13, 2015 [1 favorite]

People's ugly sides come out in divorce. They will do things you never thought they were capable of, in the wake of separation. I thought my ex was a kind sweet person, but when things broke down and I asked him for a divorce, it was like I had unleashed a monster. And we didn't have anything worth actually fight over, we were just poor students without anything more than wedding gift presents to our names. He still fought tooth and nail for everything he could take from me, everything he could do to hurt me.

Her husband is not to be trusted to do what is fair and right by her, or the kids. As her family, please help her however you can to find the best lawyer you can afford.

I am deeply sympathetic to her situation, best of luck to her.
posted by lizbunny at 12:05 PM on September 13, 2015 [1 favorite]

Let's just be stark: the #1 predictor of poverty in women and children in the US is divorce. Very few of the women trapped within that statistic thought that would be the outcome they and their children would face. Your sister is not protected from this threat by class, education level, her husband's love of their mutual children, or her good intentions. Your sister's best chance of being protected from this is effective legal representation.
posted by DarlingBri at 12:34 PM on September 13, 2015 [11 favorites]

Sorry if it seems like I'm piling on, but just reduce the number of kids and this was my parents' exact situation. Your sister needs a lawyer yesterday.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 1:06 PM on September 13, 2015

(and possibly a new therapist, but that's another discussion.)
posted by The Underpants Monster at 1:07 PM on September 13, 2015

*This is exactly what my ex did. Cashed out the college funds, spent the $, cancelled the life insurance policies, refused to pay anything other than state-mandated minimum child support and I couldn't collect a dime because my lawyer never thought to get it built into the child support order.

Please please listen to this. Your sister's husband has already treated her disposably and cruelly by cheating on her. To him, it's very likeely he just wants to end the marriage because it's getting in the way of him being with his new girlfriend, who wants more. His wife is just something he needs to get rid of and he likely feels he doesn't owe her anything. He's even be tearing her down in his head and to his family so he can punish her for existing and for his guilt and can feel like a victim instead of a guy who cheated on his wife and 4 kids. I would bet you anything that he's going to screw her over financially and minimize the Significance of the marriage ("We got married and had kids because it's what you wanted! You made me! Then you stayed home because you didn't want to get a job!" He's got a new narrative going where he's the good guy despite blindsiding his wife and kids. note: I've never been married but these freshly divorced guys who creep on single women to use them as a free therapist---my god they seriously want us to think their ex- wives marched them down the aisle with a gun and ninjas surrounding them. And they have no problem being angry)

So please impress upon her not to listen to her soon to be ex, and remind her what a real scumbag she's up against and she needs a divorce lawyer now to help protect her. Sometimes you have to just get furious on her behalf to let her know it's okay to be angry at him (angry at him, not the woman he's been cheating with).

PS. A couple of months ago, a guy who seemed completely single and said nothing about having a wife, let me know days after making plans that he was technically still married but that the relationship had been over for years and he was in the process of getting a divorce. So, there are guys with wives and kids who just view the wives and kids they're planning on divorcing as annoyances getting in the way of them getting what they want---new romantic fun, new partners, new lives, etc.
posted by discopolo at 2:57 PM on September 13, 2015 [6 favorites]

Mchelly: "It sounds like your sister has a case of Good Guy Syndrome - she knows she didn't cheat, didn't want to end the marriage, probably doesn't want a contentious divorce - she wants to be the clear Good Guy, and not having a lawyer is a symptom of that - that she isn't trying to be difficult.

Seconding this in particular. I think I developed "Good Guy Syndrome," too—and I am a lawyer (as was my wife, who was what attorneys call the "moneyed spouse"), and I had my own lawyer for the whole process. Thankfully, having a lawyer protects you somewhat from your own Good Guy instincts, though I still regret not asking for everything I was entitled to.
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 6:18 PM on September 13, 2015

What discopolo said.

It may be that your sister is having thoughts along the lines of "even if he's turning out to be a bad husband he's still a good father to our children," and she may need to believe this in order to not go stark raving bonkers in this situation, and so may have faith that in the financial arrangements he will not leave the kids high and dry... However, having an affair and dumping the mother of one's children IS in fact being a BAD FATHER, and you bet that's going to play out in financial terms in the future if she isn't ferocious at this point.

Best of luck to her. I'm so sorry he turned out to be such a douche.
posted by Sublimity at 8:22 PM on September 13, 2015 [2 favorites]

Encourage her to think of it this way: if he truly cares about her and about his children, he will understand the necessity of them having their own advocate. The contrapositive is also true.
posted by KathrynT at 5:12 PM on September 14, 2015

The best time for her to have a lawyer would have been way back when divorce reared it's ugly head, the second best time is right now. She should hire a lawyer, she should not second guess the lawyer & she should do everything the lawyer says. The "Good Guy" description suits my SIL to a tea when she started divorce proceedings with my brother, he turned into a complete asshole, despite her insistence he wouldn't, she ended up in a complete legal mess because she didn't get her ducks in a row BEFORE they sat down to work out the paperwork. She doesn't have to be the bad guy, that's what the lawyer is for.
posted by wwax at 7:30 PM on September 18, 2015

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