|Posted on January 13, 2014 at 7:25 PM|
Divorce Corp, The Film
I went to see the film, Divorce Corp, yesterday and I would begin by saying that I was extremely disappointed. The moment there is misrepresentation of facts and information the remainder is called into question. This is exactly the problem that Family Court Judges find themselves in. How do we know what facts and what information is correct when you know, for certainty, that some is absolutely misrepresented.
I do not think that the film is at all useful considering that, as a practicing Family Law attorney, I know that some of its content is misrepresentation of fact and information. It is a pity to take such an opportunity for an avenue of change and completely ruin its reliability.
For example: This film represents that Family Law attorneys require that parties fill out Income and Expense Declarations in order to determine how much money they have prior to taking the parties as clients and that they do this in order to see how much money they can spend. This an obvious misrepresentation since it is the Law, enforced by the Court, that requires parties to fill out and exchange Income and Expense Declarations as part of the mandatory financial disclosures and that typically the attorneys don't draft the disclosures until after they are retained.
This does not mean that there are not problems regarding attorneys overbilling or the like, only that this film is not reliable.
Further Example: Most attorneys do not file a FLARPL immediately and it isn't all that easy to get a FLARPL against a client's home. (FLARPL = Family Law Real Property Lien)
This does not mean that some attorneys dont obtain FLARPLs on their clients' homes, only that this film is once again unreliable.
While I have heard Judges comment, upon reviewing the parties Income and Expense Declarations, that there are funds available to use; this is generally within a specific context. That context is usually when a case is high conflict, whether regarding property or custody, and the judge feels that the input of an expert in the field in question would assist. If there are funds available to pay for the cost of an expert to alleviate some of the fighting then it is money better spent than spending it on attorney fees. A Court can not order a Custody Evaluation or the appointment of a financial expert without the consent of the parties and certainly not if the parties can not afford it.
Again, this does not mean that there are not problems of Judges overstepping their authority, only that the film is misrepresenting and is therefore unreliable.
Watching the film saw a number of film cuts leaving the part remaining out of context and found quite a few blatant misrepresentations leading me to conclude that the film is biased and therefore not credible.
I absolutely agree that there are problems within the system but this film was a complete failure as a means to address those problems in my opinion.
Rivka Israel, Esq.