My client is getting divorced from her husband who works at Costco. He has a sizable retirement account which we must divide by “qualified domestic relations order”, or “QDRO”.
What this does is segregate money to her own account which she would own free and clear when the divorce enters and without tax consequences. Of course Costco, like any other company, has a say about what the order looks like. It is common that we more or less follow whatever rules the given company may want to impose on how this gets divided.
Costco is the first company I have seen that actually charges the couple for the task of reviewing the order for accuracy.
This has led me to question what this is going to cost. I wonder whether the Costco lawyers come in multi-packs, shrink wrapped together and on a pallet. Individually the lawyer is not that expensive, but a six-pack of lawyer taken all at once the fees tend to add up.
I am glad they take American Express. My firm does too, but you can see us one lawyer at a time.
The other day a client mentioned she was worried her ex-husband would “use his lawyer to block me.”
The perception that the lawyers are chesspieces in some game between parties to a divorce came to mind. Apparently we are mere objects in the war between the men and the women. Let us hope both parties can see the whole board.
For the record, I see myself as a knight, able to move two spaces in any direction, other than diagonal, then one more to either side.
People want certainty in the law. A black, A white. Often when a client is upset with the other side in a case they declare their opponent has broken “THE LAW!” as if a trap door will open under the transgressor.
It is often not so clear. Instead the law, in particular the practice of law is a lot like my grandmothers cooking.
How much do I put in grandma? Some. How much is that? A pinch. A smidge. How much evidence do I put on? Enough. You have to have done this to know what fits and leaves a good taste in the judges mouth, rather than something sour.
Much like the law she left a room to wiggle, a room for judgment, which like grandma’s cooking, is what Judges do.
Grandma used a tea-cup for a cup measure. There were no numbers on the side. And you know, it turned out well. Judges exercise a spice known as “discretion“, and that makes all the difference.