Social Media & FBAMM

Divorce in the Age of Social Media

Gone Rolling


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 (Excerpt From Facebook Ate My Marriage.  Republished with permission from Hell Bent Press and the Author)

Chapter 37: DeeAnn Goes Rogue and I Go Rolling

With my certificate in and a general sense of agitation regarding the time issue, I did something I normally would not do: I called my attorney’s assistant. “Did you get the certificate?” I asked, like the kindergartener who wants to see his mommy hang up his finger painting on the refrigerator.

“Just came in the mail this morning. Have sent it to be registered with the court and added it to your file,” she said pleasantly, with an eye on the clock, no doubt.

“So, where do we stand?” I asked.

“Well…” she trailed off.

I wasn’t certain if she was doing the slow trailing off to stretch this conversation to the next billable interval and was about to ask the question when she said, “DeeAnn has changed attorneys.”

“And this affects us how?” I asked, using the inclusive to make clear we were all in this together, even if the conclusion of this matter left me very much alone.

“Well, that is where the problem is. She dismissed the other attorney and has indicated that she is going to do pro se representation in this matter,” the assistant concluded.

“Meaning?” I asked, still no clearer as to where we stood.

“She will be representing herself,” the assistant said in plain English.

“Damn,” I muttered.

“Exactly,” she agreed vigorously.

“So, let me understand,” I said, not caring if this call went to the next 15-minute billing interval or ran for hours, “she is going to handle her own side of the divorce as the attorney and the respondent.”

“Yes, and she is refiling for you to pay her legal bills, and she has refused to produce the documents or respond to the interrogatories required by the court,” the assistant said in a sullen tone that indicated she was no more thrilled by this turn of events than I was.

“So, you are forced to play the dummy hand?” I said.

“I am not sure I follow you,” said the assistant, who clearly had never played bridge.

“Alright, let’s pretend that DeeAnn had competent legal counsel. Then we have to go to mandatory arbitration, right?” I asked.

“That is correct,” the assistant agreed.

“Okay, now normally what happens is the two attorneys go off into a corner and say ‘Hi Phyllis. Hi Sal, long time no see.’ Then after exchanging professional pleasantries, they start saying ‘Well, my Bozo says this is what they want’ and the other says ‘Well, my Bozo demands that this happen,’ and finally they work out something that is least offending to both Bozos, try to get the mediator to feel that they have done something productive, and then hope that that judge will sign off on it.  Am I right?” I asked.

“In principle, I would say you are correct,” the assistant said.

“Alright.   Practicing attorneys do not call clients ‘Bozos,’” I conceded.  “Undoubtedly, owing to ABA guidelines, they are obliged to refer to us as ‘Morons.’ Unfortunately, what you are telling me is that my attorney is actually going to have to deal directly with the opposing ‘Moron,’ and only the judge will be able to advise that ‘Moron’ as to her legal duties?”

“In a nutshell, yes.” she said, seeming happier with ‘Moron’ than ‘Bozo.’

“So this is going to go on forever!” I despaired.

“No, we will just have to be creative,” the assistant said cryptically. “About now, she is being served with our notice that we are going to trial. You may want to turn off your phone for the next few days.”

“Not an issue.”  I smiled to myself.

“Why not?”  The assistant seemed surprised.

“PFA.   She can’t call me,” I said.

“Ah, yes. True. Well then, look off to the north, as I expect there is an explosion happening outside of Philadelphia. I will send you a letter once we have more information,” the assistant said, courteously ending the conversation.

“Yes, thanks,” I said, finding myself lost in the ensuing silence after she hung up.

There is a point where minor vices and association battles will not serve to distract you from the current events of your life. Even opera and cigars will not fill in the gap, where life and the illusions of progress once gave you hope. With DeeAnn going rogue, there was no telling what would happen or when. I needed, as my mother would say, distraction. I of course did not know that competent – or at least marginally intelligent – legal counsel would soon surface. So I planned for the long haul and began to consider distractions that might take months, if not years to master. My attention turned to the one thing at hand – cigars. I resolved to become a cigar roller.

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Text Copyright 2011 Cusper Lynn

Text Copyright 2011 Hellbent Press

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