Sunday, November 11, 2012

Dealing with a Bully

Does your spouse or ex-spouse harass you, threaten you, follow you, text you repeatedly, call you over and over, drive by your home or your work, call your friends, have a P.I. following you, pass messages through your child, or post messages about you online?  I could go on with more ways that spouses try to bully their spouse but you get the point.  If this is happening to you, call me.  I will help you deal with the person and I will teach you some secrets about how to use their tactics against them in your daily life and at trial.

Friday, July 13, 2012

News Video: Client avoids life sentence

Father and Son, Fred and Ryan Hanzelik, help client avoid life sentence on 1st Degree Murder Charge. Client faces 3-6 years with the possibility of alternative sentencing.

Click here for video!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Death and Taxes

The saying goes that the only two things that are certain in life are death and taxes.  In divorce, there is a tax that is just as certain and that is the tax on your emotions.  Most people at the point of divorce have already been through a lot of emotional turmoil on their road to divorce.  The actual process of divorce isn't much easier and most of the time the divorce process can be much more taxing on your emotions than the marital problems that  brought you to the point of divorce.

I have witnessed every emotion possible as a divorce lawyer.  I've seen people clap in the courtroom when the judge finally awarded them their divorce.  I've seen people cry with such desperation and lack of hope in ever being happy again that it breaks my heart.  I've seen extreme levels of anger at the betrayal and greed of their spouse.  And I've seen individuals experience debilitating fear of the spouse who has abused them for years.  Regardless of your emotions, you have to overcome them somehow and move forward to a better future.  Your well-being depends on it.  Your children's well-being depends on it.  Your career depends on it.  Your happiness depends on it.

That's a lot of pressure!

But there IS hope!

Find friends to confide in.  Get a counselor you trust. Find whatever it is that motivates you and makes you comfortable in your own skin again.  It takes time.  It takes effort.  It takes courage.  But if you give up, if you don't try, your spouse wins.  And I haven't met a client yet that was willing to simply let their spouse win.

Why start now?

Monday, March 26, 2012

Legal Advice vs. Life Advice

As a divorce lawyer, I encounter individuals who have been thrust into uncertainty.  Their whole world has been turned upside down, inside out, etc.  Everything they knew before their divorce has changed.  Most people going through divorce are going through it for the first time and have no idea what to expect.  They have no idea what will happen next.  They have no idea what the consequences will be for the decisions they make.  Most people are concerned that they might make a mistake if they say or do something wrong.  And then they ask me for advice.

I often find myself in a difficult position because clients ask me for advice about things that don't necessarily involve legal advice.  I understand the reason they ask me.  Divorce is difficult.  The person you are divorcing may also be difficult.  You don't get to a divorce because you agree with your spouse or because you get along.  And the issues you have disagreements about usually involve the most important things in your life: children, money, home, relationships with those you love, etc.

Sometimes, I have to simply tell my clients that they have to make these difficult decisions on their own.  My advice can only go so far.  I cannot live their life for them.  I can advise them of the consequences of their decisions but ultimately the decision is theirs.  I can listen to their concerns and help talk them through the thought process of their decision.  But I am only a lawyer.

Keep in mind that your lawyer is a lawyer, not a psychologist, not a counselor, and not an instruction manual for life.  Live your life.  Try to find happiness again.  You have to do that for yourself.

Monday, February 27, 2012

The Value of a Dollar

In my experience, three things usually fuel a divorce: money, sex, and greed.  But sometimes it doesn't make financial sense to be greedy or to fight over things or to battle over your spouse's infidelity.  I am not a financial expert.  I'm an attorney.  But most of my clients have financial issues that need my advice.  One of the most common issues that I encounter is whether something is worth fighting for.  It's easy in divorce to let your emotions overrule your usual sense of good judgement.  But just because you want to fight over something doesn't mean it's worth fighting for.

Take for example, hypothetically speaking, a lamp.  Imagine that you and your spouse own a lamp that both of you want to keep.  It's not that special of a lamp in the sense that it's rare or valuable, but you want it and your spouse wants it for whatever personal reasons each of you might have.  How much do you want to pay your attorney to fight over the lamp?  If your attorney is billing you by the hour and the attorney spends 3 hours fighting over the lamp, you just bought yourself a very expensive lamp...maybe.  You might not even get the lamp when it is all said and done.  You probably just wasted your money either way.  But if you want the lamp that bad and are willing to pay for it, then by all means, go for it.

How about your spouse's retirement plan worth $3000?  Assuming you're entitled to half, how much do you want to pay your attorney trying to get $1500 that will probably be taxed and penalized at a total of 30-40%.  How much do you want to pay your attorney to make you $900?  If you're paying an attorney by the hour, it won't take long to spend more on your attorney than what you will ultimately receive from the asset.

What about child support?  How much is it worth to get a few bucks a month more in child support?  If you spend $1000 on your attorney to make $20 more per month in child support, it's going to take you over 4 years to break even on child support.  In the long run maybe it's worth it, maybe not.  But these are the things you should be thinking about.  Do you even know what your attorney is fighting for and how much you're spending to fight over it?

If your attorney is not telling you that you're wasting your money, it's probably because you're wasting your money on your attorney.

I intentionally placed emphasis on that last statement for a reason.  Believe it or not, I sometimes have to tell my clients that it just doesn't make financial sense to waste their money on me.

The value of a dollar has many definitions.  My job as your attorney is to maximize the value of your dollar, but ultimately, it is the client's decision whether to fight over that lamp or anything else for that matter.  Like I said, money, sex and greed fuel divorce so sometimes I make a good living fighting for that lamp.  And who knows, the value of the pleasure you get from lighting your living room and telling the story to all of your visitors about how you came to own that lamp might just be worth a couple thousand dollars.  Who am I to say?  I just give legal advice.

These examples are very generalized and don't necessarily incorporate many other factors taken into consideration during divorce cases that might affect the overall value of your assets and the disposition of those assets.  For specific answers to specific questions, consult an attorney.  This is not intended to be legal advice nor is it intended to create an attorney-client relationship.  For legal advice, consult an attorney.


The information you obtain from this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. I invite you to contact me and welcome your calls, letters and electronic mail. Contacting me does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to me until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.
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