In the past, when thinking about a future divorce, many individuals would seek out a “shark” to represent them in hopes that their matter will be handled aggressively, and their chosen attorney will obtain a favorable outcome for them. While hiring a “shark” was once considered a must-do by clients, these days, hiring a shark in a divorce is the new faux pas.

What people used to refer to as a “Shark” attorney

For years lawyers have been celebrated for aggressive and often times, unreasonable negotiations and fighting no matter the cost. “Sharks” used to be equated to a person who refuses to back down, and most likely to hurt the other side in a divorce. In the past, people would seek out these types of lawyers, thinking that they would lose their case if they did not. Fast forward to our progressive society and now people are realizing, a “shark” can cost your family more than just money in the long run.

Why hiring a “Shark” attorney is outdated in divorce

While hiring a “shark” to handle a divorce may seem tempting at the outset of a case, families should take a step back and consider the long-lasting impacts it might have on their family unit. Overly aggressive lawyers, or “sharks”, generally take unreasonable positions which results in a broken family, unnecessary litigation and astronomical legal fees.

Client’s may desire to scare their spouse through a shark’s style of negotiating. This may involve sending nasty letters, making unreasonable demands, or general intimidation techniques. Although these tactics may in fact scare a spouse, they should also scare the client. Every unreasonable stance taken leads to more money out of the client’s pocket and a further broken family.

Recently, Morgan Stogsdill, teamed up with divorced couple Ben and Nikki on the Divorce Talk Podcast whose story, and book “Our Happy Divorce” has been featured on Good Morning America. Ben initially decided to hire a shark who drafted a forty-page game plan on how to destroy Nikki. Ben stated, “it wasn’t until I opened up that war and peace game plan and got two pages into it that I had my moment of clarity.” Immediately, Ben obtained new counsel and took a more reasonable strategy during their divorce. That decision ensured their family unit retained a positive dynamic for their son and one that ultimately saved thousands of dollars.

Out with the old, in with the new divorce advocacy

Today, the most effective divorce advocacy is a lawyer whose goal is to protect the family unit, especially the children. The new school divorce attorneys know when to fight and when to promote productive negotiations between spouses. After all, no means no, in any tone.

Morgan L. Stogsdill, Divorce and Family Law Partner