That title, Divorce Dumping: How to protect yourself from predatory divorce tactics, the lawyers, and the cavalcade of clowns out to get you came to me in pieces during the day, and from a medley of sources. I daresay, now that I threw all the thoughts together, it has a unique, if not ingenious title, but I have no idea how to back up the post with substance. I mean, really, how would I even define “divorce dumping?” To begin with? Is it just a euphemism for the single-style “break up”? Or could it mean something else? Hmmmmm………………..
Well, dumping and anti-dumping…..statutes…….(don’t laugh, I’m really trying to flesh this out, bear with me) these have to do with international trade law and predatory pricing that serve to “injure” foreign market competitors who can’t compete with these low prices of foreign imports, right? Ok…… But what the heck does that have to do with divorce? Christ…..I don’t know….what analogy can I draw? Probably nothing……………Well, wait a second…..
I think “divorce dumping” can occur in a number of ways because if you think about it, “dumping” in the trade sense is really a way that exporters try to pull the wool over the eyes of importers and how they gain an advantage in a trade transaction. So I think divorce dumping can be defined as any situation where one party tries to gain an advantage (usually monetary) over the other. There. I’m a friggin genius as per usual 🙂
Okay. So, some examples of divorce dumping:
1) When your ex and his or her lawyer tries to low ball you with a divorce settlement that is just unconscionable on its face but they have the nerve to pee on your head and tell you it’s raining – as if you’re an idiot. As if you don’t know what the heck they are doing;
2) When your ex hides income to pretend that he or she has even less money than they are declaring in their financial affidavits;
3) When your ex uses third parties to swindle you out of your fair share (whether family members, dummy corporations or perfect strangers) by incorporating creative accounting principles into the calculations, or shuffling the money into another name, or stuff, like de-value a closely held business so that you don’t get your fair cut, or something like that;
4) It could be your divorce attorney who bills you for a ton of hours but then actually under-performs these hours to your injury in the courtroom….that one might be a stretch but it kinda sorta fits, duddn’t it?;
5) When the value of the assets you receive are really exaggerated, like a house, or something because they don’t disclose that you will have a huge cap gains tax if you sell it; or that it is mortgaged to the hilt, or that the roof has about one more month before it caves in, or something like that;
And so forth. All of these tactics are a form of dumping, if you think of divorce as a kind of trade (trading one spouse for another spouse or no spouse). It’s divorce dumping! And these practices are a form of “deceptive” and “injurious” trade! 🙂
Okay. God, I”m such a genius, I almost can’t bear it…..
Ok. So, how do you protect yourself from these predatory divorce tactics by this cavalcade of clowns? Isn’t it totally the truth that a lot of times you have a “calvacade of clowns” parading around in your story making your life and divorce even worse than it has to be? And the lawyers are just the beginning of it. You’ve got the: guardian ad litem, the court appointed psychologists, the forensics accountant, the IRS, the private investigator, the mediator, the judge, the judge’s law secretary, the court officer, the secretary at the lawyer’s office who always answers the phone and says he’s with another client and he’ll call you back, I mean, there are so many fools in this process that potentially can muck you up and make you miserable at a time like this, and they all have an agenda, you know. They all have their agenda.
How do you protect yourself? Well, you need to take anti-dumping measures. What can I tell you? You need to come up with an anti-dumping antidote to stop them in their tracks. So first, you have to be up to them and their shenanigans – starting with your spouse. Don’t be dumb and naive and innocent. That is very costly.
As far as the other clowns (not all divorce professionals are clowns, only the bad ones), try to get recommendations from friends and family members or even by visiting forums and chatrooms about professionals such as lawyers, PIs, and financial professionals. Don’t just hire just anybody. Keep a paper trail going and follow the money. Actually review your statements and billings and comb through these items for inconsistencies, mistakes and outright fraud. You have to find the right balance between trusting the people you hire, and looking out for yourself at the end of the day. It’s not like you are going to be totally distrustful, but just don’t be naive. Don’t let ’em dump on you and pee on your head and tell you its raining. Be aware. Be smart. Look out for yourself. Stick up for yourself. Because nobody else will. Tell ’em, “stop dumping on me. I am up to you.” And tell them you got that from Divorce Saloon. Cause we’re bad, and they know it.
Originally published November 28, 2010
Image credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/moggsoceanlane/3411416007/sizes/m/in/photostream/