The first image broadcast by network television was a picture of Felix the Cat. I remember watching Felix on tv when I was a kid. He had a Magic Bag of Tricks and whenever he got stumped by a problem, he would reach into his bag and pull out some tool or device that would help him solve the problem.
I wish I had a Magic Bag of Tricks in real life. A lawyer can do a lot of things, but sometimes the tools in my toolbox are limited. Clients look to their lawyers to solve all sorts of problems. But first you have to have a problem that the law recognizes as a problem. For example, I wrote recently that not every marital agreement is recognized by law as an enforceable contract.
The law does not provide a remedy for every wrong. There is no legal tool that will turn your difficult spouse into a nicer, more reasonable and responsible person. I can get alimony and child support and property, but I probably cannot recover damages for the hurt you felt during your marriage. The court can give you a visitation schedule, but it can’t make your child want to visit with you. I can’t make your spouse settle on your terms and I can’t make opposing counsel return my calls if they don’t want to.
As a mediator said to one of my clients, “I only have a pen, not a magic wand.”