When Stuck In A Bitter Divorce, Consider The “Paperwork Bomb”

Look, this is a story about divorce. These stories are ugly by nature, and we’re only hearing one side of the story here. Maybe what this man did was totally justified, maybe he’s a complete bastard, but regardless, this man pulled some borderline evil shit in the name of screwing with his wife’s lawyers.

This happened about 18 months ago, I found the paperwork this morning and thought about it.

I was going through a nasty divorce, complete with disappearing prenups and my ex was making threats against my small business. When the deposition came it requested tons of information about my business. Bank transactions, tax returns, etc and ALL documentation regarding asset sales or acquisitions.

First I pushed back and said the administrative burden was excessive, they responded with “tough shit”. Then I resisted with the argument that I refuse to supply information that will harm my business and the other stakeholders. We finally agreed that only the attorneys will have access to the business records.

I asked several attorneys what exactly my rules for compliance are. Short version- each numbered request has to be presented separately so I can’t just throw all my responses in a box together. “Do I have to send a box?” No. “Any other organization required?” No.

I responded with a zeal they did not expect. I gave them everything that matched their requests. As this was requested from the business, I was justified in using payroll to prepare my responses. So 5 of us went to work.

So I printed off bank statements and bank transaction reports for 7 years for 10 accounts. Threw them in a pile, shuffled the whole lot. One question, one response.

As an inventory based business, every sales transaction is a change of asset, so I added all my sales records to that request.

I printed full page bright orange labels clearly identifying the case, the question and “BUSINESS DOCUMENTS ATTORNEY EYES ONLY” then I banded the stacks very tightly together in piles about a foot tall with 500 lbs packaging straps. This makes a paperwork bomb that explodes with about 3000 sheets of paper when you cut the straps. And there’s no boxes to put them in after you open them.

So on the last day in the afternoon I delivered a pickup truck load of paperwork calmly to a group of expensive attorneys who were freaking out at the sight of cart after cart worth of paperwork being stacked up in their conference room. I purposely put all my personal documents and the smaller questions on the bottom.

There’s not enough money in the city to pay the attorneys to even touch this mess, let alone go through it.

We settled soon after and I sent a few employees to recover my documents, unopened.

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