"NICE" DOESN'T ALWAYS WIN BUT....IN THE END...LET'S SEE WHO WEARS THE CROWN.
Pine Bluff’s cream-of-the-crop attorneys liked the smell of “old money.” Eight attorneys represented Jack during the divorce and they lost no time in attacking me. The meanest and most vindictive of the evil-eight was a lawyer named Steve Matthews. Old Steve derived some vicarious pleasure from throwing mud at me--- like a jilted lover. My one, very young, country-bumpkin attorney, was out-matched by Jack’s A-team--- the ones I refer to as the evil-eight. The divorce had nothing to do with fairness, justice, or concern for the children. It was about Power and Money crushing me...to get a win for Jack.
I tried to convince the evil-eight that by destroying me, Jack was, ultimately, destroying his children’s future.Rather than award me enough money to be a full-time Mother, the settlement required me to work, fulltime, and even then...for low wages. No one listened because no one cared--- especially Jack.
It took almost three years to finalize the divorce. If I had been the strong woman I am today, Jack’s lawyers would have faced a serious adversary. I would have gone public with my evidence, challenged the “good old boy” system, and refused to sign any papers that didn’t award me--- the single parent of two young children--- a decent settlement including cost-of-living increases; return of my Christmas-Present Stock, with interest; a pension plan; and a percentage of the family business. And, I would have slapped the face of the arrogant, condescending, bastard-judge who talked down to me like I was some mindless whore:
The Judge: “Well, Miss Sally, I’ve heard all about you and seeing you for the first time---you’re not so bad-looking; you won’t have any trouble finding another husband. Hell, once you get the word on the streets, you’ll probably hook something serious in only a few months. But don’t go looking for love-in-bloom ‘cause you’re well-past the schoolgirl age Honey and these days, rich men want their women young and without children. So, get out there and start looking.
The final settlement your attorney has agreed to, on your behalf, is sufficient. Jack’s gonna be giving you some financial help with the kids and in return, he’ll get to claim them on his tax returns. You’ll be getting 400 dollars a month (200 dollars a child) until the kids are eighteen years old. You’ll also be getting some alimony (350 dollars a month) but don’t forget, you’re gonna be paying taxes on that alimony--- which is only fair to Jack. Remember, Sweet-Cheeks--- when you remarry, you don’t get to keep that alimony. Okay, Jack’s signed the house over to you and you’ll be picking up the payments starting next month. Now Missy, I suggest you find yourself a sugar daddy real soon, cause in addition to a monthly house payment, there’s gonna be utilities, insurance, groceries, yard work, and all kinds of upkeep. Don’t go thinking you’ve got a pot-full of money because of that 25,000 dollar settlement, Sugar. You’ve still got to pay your attorney fees out of that settlement money so it won’t last long. Honey, I’m thinkin you’re gonna need a man or a job--- real soon!
Okay, move your cute little butt over here beside me and sign this paper. And, just-like-that-baby, you’re a single woman again. You can do what-you-want-to with who-you-want-to just as long as you don’t get caught! (He threw his head back for a full belly-laugh).
Sugar, I’d let you practice on me but I’m a married man with a mean-old, jealous wife!”
I left the judge’s chambers to find a gloating Jack waiting outside, determined to have the last word. “I only married you because you were Miss Arkansas and God Damn--- you’ve been one fucked-up disappointment!”