The thing about finding the right divorce lawyer is, that it can take some time and if you've never been to a solicitor before it's all a bit daunting. I googled, I called around, I did my research and eventually a short list was drawn up. Appointments were made. I met with five. Five very different characters. Five very swanky offices. The first was terrible. Creepy. Uriah Heep creepy. The second was so sharkish I could almost see the dorsal fin out of the back of his brioni suit. I practically ran from the building. The third was a woman, she tried to reassure me by telling me how much she understood, she too was divorcing her second husband. Not exactly reassuring.
I called my best friend Jay and she gave me her thoughts, "Suzi darling, when you do meet the right lawyer you will know but promise me this, do not hold back. You must tell the whole truth. You have to tell them everything no matter how embarrassing. You must be completely honest. You must reveal it all."
So eventually I met with what we shall call the 'the white knight.'
Kind, gentle, understanding and for the first time, I felt that I was going to be ok.
Some time later a second meeting was arranged but this time it would also be with the barrister. Have you met many barristers? I have. They're all rather the same with varying degrees of arrogance. I was nervous on the day of the meeting and flustered about getting dressed, eventually settling on a new white blouse my mother had bought for me and a cardigan just to ensure I looked like the pathetic middle class house wife that I truly felt.
I arrived at the offices to be greeted by The White knight and was taken into a large sun lit room to sit in chair facing the window. A short while later the door burst open and the barrister appeared. He was what I can only describe as Lord Flashheart.
Chalk stripe three piece suit. A deep tan from a weekend spent sailing.
And yes, I so would.
"Right!" He said slamming his papers on the boardroom table.
"First things first, no matter what he's threatened you with, your husband is not going to take your child away from you."
Well he had me at that.
And so it went on.
The big tell all. The big truths. And when a brutally honest, extremely blunt man stares you right in the eyes asking you for the facts, you give them. But it's hard. I found it embarrassing, I felt ashamed to discuss the reality of my marriage with a man like that because Flash Heart is the sort of a man whose every look says, ''don't waste a second of my time".
So I was beginning to get nervous, a little hot under the collar of my new white blouse and the sun was blazing directly at me so I removed my cardigan and drank a glass of water.
And that's when things changed, suddenly they were both avoiding eye contact, they seemed distracted and I figured that my pathetic tale of woe was boring the fuck out of them so excused myself to take a bathroom break.
But as I stepped into the bathroom to splash cold water on my face I looked up into the mirror with dawning horror. Without my cardigan on my new white blouse was entirely see through. And I wasn't wearing a bra. I'm not talking about a bit of side boob here, or a gentle and discreet breast outline, I'm talking the full Norkagedden. So, I'd just left a room with high definition areoles views.
I slunk back into the boardroom with my arms across my chest and quickly replaced the cardigan. The atmosphere changed. Back to business. So it went on. At some point Flashheart said, slamming his laptop shut, "right, think we've done all we need for today, let's stump this one". And we all stood up to leave.
"Oh wait," Flashheart barked, "did you remember to take the photographs of the art work?"
The famous art collection that my ex had accumulated. What is now known as part of the marital estate. That morning, I'd actually forgotten, I was too busy dealing with a toddler who had emptied my nail polish all over the bathroom floor. So, as I was getting ready, I dashed about the house in my pants taking photos on my iPad in between clearing up the nail polish and getting and my son dressed.
"Oh yes," I told them and as I opened the iPad photos, The white knight and Lord Flashheart heart stood right behind me.
"I collect art myself, let see what taste your husband has."
So we began scrolling through the photos.
"Oh that is a beautiful oil, terrific abstract, not sure about the photo realist one it's a bit creepy," said Flashheart.
Then I scrolled to the next photo, a figurative water colour of a nude framed beautifully behind highly reflective glass.
You couldn't see anything of the painting but you could see something very clearly, my reflection. Me with my iPad. My photo realist me, in my pants.
So , when you chose a lawyer and you find the right one, be sure to tell the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
Reveal every thing but not your tits.