10. Post Tax Outcome
12. Closing Thoughts
13. About the Author
About The Author: Joseph E. Cordell
Statistics indicate that in America over 50% of all marriages end in divorce. As a divorce lawyer and a senior principal in one of the largest divorce firms in the Midwest, if not America, I deal on a daily basis with the conflict and complication accompanying divorce.
These challenges occur on basically two levels – the emotional and the practical. Regarding the former, as an attorney I can only be of limited assistance. It is the latter, the hard outcome that must occupy the divorce lawyer’s primary attention, viz custody, support, maintenance and property issues.
Let me begin by telling you a little about our firm, Cordell & Cordell. I founded Cordell & Cordell in 1990 after a brief stint with a major law firm. Originally a general practice firm focusing its attention on domestic relations matters, Cordell & Cordell has evolved into a firm practicing exclusively domestic relations law with an overwhelming emphasis on fathers’ rights.
Men represent approximately 98% of our clientele. We have offices in 24 states, more than 130 family law attorneys and to date have served thousands of men.
We unapologetically hold ourselves out via marketing and advertising as a firm devoted to men’s interests. The website we sponsor, DadsDivorce.com, is the most comprehensive site on the web for information relating to dads and custody.
Men come to Cordell & Cordell because they want to feel that their interests and the interests of their children are aggressively championed. Too often lawyers and even judges have resigned themselves to stereotypes and a perpetuation of the status quo.
I am not suggesting this mentality is malicious or even conscious, but it is prevalent.
Exacerbating things further is the feminist movement and its shrill insistence on women’s interests to the utter exclusion of the underlying merits of a given case.
The result is that the judicial system – lawyers, judges, social workers and the administration – is prone to assume without proof that moms should be the primary custodial parents, that men accused of abuse are guilty of abuse, and conversely, that men alleging abuse are lying or overreacting, that women are not as capable of generating income as men are, and that a man is less deserving of assets earned by a woman than when the reverse circumstances exist.
Naturally, no law firm can completely rectify these deep-seated and multifarious injustices. We do not promise our clients transcendent justice. All we can promise our clients is their best shot.
At Cordell & Cordell we have cultivated a reputation for challenging fallacious assumptions, for calling the court’s attention to inequalities, to advancing without equivocation bold arguments from which other attorneys might shrink.
Sometimes it is necessary to insist on a hearing on the record when the result proposed by the court in chambers is contrary to the law as properly construed. While such positions occasionally cause conflict, they nonetheless engender respect and encourage, I believe, more reasonable positions from the Court as well as from the other side.
In addition, Cordell & Cordell teaches its clients steps they can take to maximize their chances of receiving the greatest amount of time and participation in their children’s lives and minimizing any money they must give their wives – be it child support, maintenance or property.
For example, when men come to us sufficiently in advance of any legal action, we can often strengthen our position with planning. Sometimes men will come to us more than a year before they anticipate anything will be filed.
Strategizing should begin as soon as the husband is on notice of an approaching divorce. Men must be carefully coached regarding the wiles of both their opponent and opposing counsel.
Similarly, men can take steps to increase their chances of success in a custody dispute while the case is pending. During this period, for example, a man must be on his best behavior and scrupulously ignore his wife’s often calculated provocations. When men lash out in anger, they damage their image before the court.
When angry, men are deemed dangerous or abusive, whereas women who display similar behavior are dismissively labeled “frustrated” or “hysterical.”
In conclusion, the task of representing men is a challenging one requiring skill and experience. In a system seemingly predisposed against them, men can only hope to succeed by utilizing all the help available to them – legally and strategically.
Cordell & Cordell has built its practice on helping men do just that.