The movie Divorce Corp is out, with limited screenings throughout the US. I have not seen it, but it is purported to be an expose on the divorce industry and attorneys in particular.
It is hard to be a family law attorney these days. There are fewer divorces as the baby boomers move toward retirement. Just like in many fields, the schools keep cranking out many more higher degrees than the market can use. I know attorneys who have a hard time getting any job after law school.
The market is also trending away from litigation and toward mediation and other alternatives toward settlement, including “do-it-yourself” divorce. Just as in health care with doctors, nurses and aids, if a paralegal or non-attorney mediator can do what an attorney does, most people are satisfied.
Do attorneys pad hours, avoid early neutral evaluations and mediation? No doubt some do. What would you do if you had spent $100,000 on a law degree, were in debt for office and furniture and secretary and some new trend came along to settle cases with half the cost and hours you had before, leaving you scrambling for income? I have seen such behavior but the majority of attorneys I know are good people just trying to do their jobs.
With this trend towards paralegals and no legals there are things that will be done poorly. All attorneys have legitimate horror stories. Yet it remains the truth that litigation most often produces havoc in a relationship even if one party “wins.” Mediation and working together produce better, longer lasting outcomes.
Mediation has better outcome than almost every form of litigation and settlement. Self determination is the key.