I-Team: Men and divorce - WNEM TV 5

I-Team: Men and divorce

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It's a legal fight that pits husband against wife and sometimes it gets ugly.

Divorce often comes down to money and that covers alimony, child support and dividing up the property.

"I had to call and say sorry. That's all, 'I'm sorry,'" said Richard Koscik, divorcee.

Koscik still finds it hard to talk about going trough a divorce. He said he loved having a family and being a dad.

"I don't get it because I'm not a bad guy. In my particular case, I'm not the dead beat dad," Koscik said.

He said throughout his 16 year marriage he was a workaholic working as an engineer. He was the sole provider for his wife and three kids, but years later he said his wife lost interest in the marriage and decided to separate. Initially he hired a general practice attorney to handle the divorce.

"Not all lawyers are created equally," Koscik said. "And to find out the judge wasn't even listening to me because the paperwork I thought was being filed, was being worked on, was being billed for, wasn't being turned it."

That's what took him to the American Divorce Association for Men, otherwise known as ADAM. 

Douglas Wartell co-founded the practice. He said far too many men get the short end of the legal stick during a divorce.

"To the point that it's obviously so unfair. To me it's stupid," Wartell said.

Before hiring ADAM, Koscik was paying more than half of his earnings to his soon-to-be ex-wife even before the divorce was finalized.

"So I was paying $45,000 for alimony and I was making a cobra payment of $780 a month. Because that was mandated. So I didn't have enough to make a house payment," Koscik said.

In Koscik's case ADAM was able to get him a huge reduction in alimony, joint custody over visitation and finally he got some represenation.

"You have to let the judge know what the facts are and let them, make him or her make a decision on what they think is fair. Did we come across judges that were biased? Things that we had to overcome? Sure we did, but we also came across judges that were fair and would listen if given the opportunity and we started to get good results," Wartell said.

At the ADAM law firm they have a book which contains hundreds of letters from clients thanking the law firm for their help.

Wartell said it boils down to getting an attorney with experience representing men. He said often times people get short changed going to non-specialty firms where the lawyer may lack experience on the issues related to men.

The result in some cases is men paying higher alimony than they should.

"My client is ending up with a lot more money. When the dust settles and when you're doing something like this, you want a guy that can do the job properly," Wartell said. 

In the end Koscik is  still working to put his life back together and appreciates the little things like hanging out with his kids. He said getting the right lawyer put him on the path to a better life.

"In general I was being too nice of a guy and that's the problem," Koscik said.

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