Final Exam

Section 1: Math

During your divorce, your car dies. You and your spouse agree that you can take $5,000 out of a joint bank account to make a down payment on a new car, and that that your spouse will receive a credit for it at the time of settlement of your case.

A few months later you settle your case. One of the terms is that the bank accounts will be divided 50/50.

“But don’t forget that car down payment!” exclaims your spouse’s lawyer. “My client is entitled to 50% plus $5,000.”

Is Counsel correct?

Section 2: Sound Decision-Making

State whether the following statement is true or false:

To be able to make sound decisions, you must dispense with emotion while negotiating your settlement.

Section 3: Legal Fees

State whether the following statement is true or false:

A three-minute call to an attorney who charges $400/hour will always cost more than the same call to an attorney who charges $350/hour.

Section 4: Spousal & Child Support

State whether the following statement is true or false:

If your ex-spouse declares bankruptcy, his/her child and spousal support obligations are automatically suspended for up to seven years.


1 Adapted from Divorce, Simply Stated (2nd ed.) available HERE.



No, counsel is wrong. Because you have agreed to divide your bank accounts 50/50, the $5,000 you got was half yours, and thus you need only pay your spouse an extra $2,500, NOT $5,000.

FALSE. While emotions such an anger, resentment and anxiety do cloud judgment, the emotion of empathy can help you better understand and thus more effectively deal with your spouse’s positions

FALSE. If the $350/hour lawyer charges in minimal increments of .2 hour (12 minutes) and the $400/hour lawyer charges in minimal increments of .1 hour, the $350/hr. lawyer will charge $30 more for that three minutes, as follows:
$350/hr. lawyer’s minimum charge of .2 hour comes to: .2 x $350 = $70.00
$400/hr. lawyer’s minimum charge of .1 hour comes to: .1 x $400 = $40.00

False. Spousal and child support obligations are not discharged (wiped out) by bankruptcy. They remain in full force and effect.
Better still, a support “obligor” whose credit card and other debts are discharged may be better able to fulfill support obligations … or even capable of paying more!

Extra Credit (If you have nothing better to do.)

1. Say the following to a cop who pulls you over and then unscramble these key divorce tax phrases:
yanimol ciddonute
drow beljums

2. Which of the following distinguishes lawyer shopping from food shopping?
A. Lawyers can be returned even if they’re sour, bloated, or past their expiration date
B. You’re usually not allowed to squeeze lawyers before choosing one
C. Both A & B

3. The best referral source for local divorce lawyers is:
A. Your divorced Uncle Billy’s website,
B. Your divorced Aunt Gladys’s website,
C. A Yellow Pages lawyer’s display ad with a large enough picture of him to assure you that he really will “fight for your rights”
D. A local attorney who can tell you which lawyers command the respect of local judges and other lawyers

Check Out Divorce, Simply Stated on Amazon