Part 2: A System Devoid of Sensibilities I always convinced myself that the legal profession was a noble and intellectual pursuit. A framework grounded in fairness, lack of bias, and most importantly integrity. As I age, and empirically observe the true nature of law in its practical form, I see the senseless grandstanding and the devolution of advocacy; unfortunately very similar to the behavior imbedded in our Judicial process as well as in the highest forms of government. I have engaged two different attorneys, both with an equal sense of dignity and decency and a overwhelming conviction and desire to encourage both parties to resolve and solution the inevitable outcome of divorce without the opaque interference of lawyers.
Unfortunately, my wife’s counsel does not possess the same sense of purpose and has created a chasm that will never be bridged between me and my wife. This is so unfortunate, but nonetheless the current state of affairs. As we walk into court for our initial hearing, I make a point of shaking my opposing counsels hand trying to diffuse the tension and pre-game jitters. He appears responsive and we sit. I know my wife has accused me of many things, very few being true, but some with an element of fact. I still feel hope that we can settle and move on without any further harm and emotional duress. As I testify, it becomes abundantly clear that the only rules that will apply that day, or more appropriately will be attempted through enforcement by the Judge, are the Rules of Procedure. Perjury rears its ugly head. Character assassination proliferates with each question; unjustified groundless attacks shrouded in hyperbole is the “soup de jour”.
My appetite for a “street fight” bubbles to the surface and my natural competitive spirit uncontrollably surfaces. Unfortunately, I watch my attorney frown and wince as I become defensive, angry, and refuse to follow procedure. The Judge tries to encourage me to answer Yes or No to the attorney representing my wife, but I can’t. I turn to my wife in disbelief but only see cold steely and irrational eyes, hell-bent and determined to “ruin me” irrespective of the lack of veracity for the truth.
There becomes a constant banter of a deliberately provocative question/allegation, followed by my non-binary answer, followed by the redundant and monotonous grunt, “…I Object…”, followed by the Judges constant refrain of “…Sustained…”, followed by my persistent rebuttal that, “…the question is misleading and if the counselor would ask the question in the right manner we can get to a legitimate and fairly portrayed truth and move on…”. This sideshow continues for 40 minutes, 20 minutes longer than normally planned in these Temporary Orders hearings.
It does not get any better. We leave the courtroom more angry than before and I subconsciously cultivate and begin to harbor such a vengeful unwavering desire to seek legal and morally bounded revenge – not only against my wife – but more aggressively against the legal tactics that only drive a further wedge of hate and anger, leading to the obvious outcome of more fees.
Why can’t my wife see this? I don’t have an answer. The Judge rules that my wife has exclusive use and possession of the house, but given the obvious transfer of liquid assets from joint accounts to individual accounts, I am relieved of providing any temporary economic support while both parties dig in for mediation and most likely trial. I cannot understand how the courts are able to assign possession of the house to one party in such an arbitrary fashion and with such a shallow and constrained understanding of the actual circumstances. Worse, how can the party who remains in the house be allowed to use this outcome as a weapon of mass hurt and revenge? It happens and continues to do so.
I have been allowed back in my house one time to get my two pets as ordered by the courts, not once but twice. I had the police do a “stand-by”, as did my wife, knowing that neither one of us trusts the other; suspicion run amuck and fueled primarily by one attorney. Emotions are high and passion unhealthy. I only hope we can settle soon. I am making deliberate attempts to settle so my wife can preserve some money and we both can move on. Only time and God will allow us to reach a conclusion and begin the rebuilding of our lives.