Friday, September 18, 2009

Future Divorce of a Sterling Silver Findings Designer II

In my world of sterling silver findings and jewellery designing, I often see troubled relationships. Women speak much more freely about them than their male counterparts. Sometimes separations start off well, but go awry and turn ugly. My dentist has just told me the legal fees for her divorce proceeding have exceeded $100,000. She has a very successful dental practice and her ex-husband has changed his mind and now wants a larger share. He in fact has made it clear he wants to get even, at any cost. He does not care if financially the daughters are to suffer, as long as the mother suffers because word got back to him that she told her friends she sees her initial divorce settlement as expensive sperm service. His feelings of inadequacy, which dogged their marriage, returned in the most destructive way. This battle continues with no end in sight. It is a pity when people become fixated and myopic, doing damage to themselves and their children.

I often feel that while I enjoy creating sterling silver findings, I might I have missed my true calling as a soldier of justice, a.k.a. a lawyer. I often spend chatting with my friends and live the legal vicariously through them. I have a friend who is a divorce lawyer. He was one of the top students in my high school who, we all felt, was destined for more. He has become jaded and bitter about how his own life has turned out even though he has done well financially. He feels no one wins in a nasty, drawn out divorce case, not even the lawyers. Both parties become bitter, and stay bitter, even when they win a better settlement than they had expected. They also hate the lawyers, whom they view as vultures in the carnage. It is a terrible situation for all, even the party looking for revenge. Satisfaction in the courtroom is elusive.

I read in the newspaper recently that the average Canadian divorce costs about $20,000 when lawyers are involved. I am sure this is an underestimated, but even at this amount, as a humble maker of sterling silver findings, I know I best avoid the cost. The average cost for a decent lawyer is $400 per hour, and there is an additional minimum of $10,000 if the battle enters the courtroom. With lawyers, you get what you pay for. And I have important advice: do not cheap out on lawyers if you have to engage in a legal battle. There are many incompetent lawyers and certainly most judges either do not have the wisdom to see past poor legal performance and see fairness, or they do not sympathize. Some judges simply hate incompetent lawyers and will teach them a lesson at their client's expense. I've been in that situation for a different type of legal matter. To put it positively, judges are human and not infallible. So, it is best to hire the best guns to fight on your side, if you cannot avoid the battle altogether. And even if your lawyer seems competent, do not trust him blindly. He works not for you, but for himself, which means not necessarily for your best interest. Also, he might not know best even if he has the best intentions. If you do not like how he is positioning or bargaining, insist on what you want. He is under your employ and do not let him forget that. Lawyers are like sterling silver findings. If it is right and there is a good fit, you will quickly know it. If it is not, do not throw in more components just to try to make it work. It will not, and it will only end up costing you more.

You might have sensed my disdain for lawyers and judges from the above paragraph. I do not hate them; my brother is a lawyer, my grandfather was a judge, and most of my close friends are lawyers. I was studying to become one myself and through fate and good fortune, I got into designing jewellery and sterling silver findings and avoided a life of unhappiness. From the experience of my recent legal battle, I am forever cured of any illusions about the glamour of the profession or that justice can be found in the courtroom. And so, I am highly committed to finding our own solution, if and when the time comes to end this lovely marriage. If I become bitter, I will spend more time making jewellery and I will retain my sanity and happiness.

To go back and read part one of this article please click here.

No comments:

Post a Comment