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John Schmidt - Sept 21, 2022

JOHN RAMSEY: — draining. It can be financially draining. You don’t marry someone thinking you’re going to divorce. But if it comes to that point, then I encourage you to talk to John Schmidt. He’s an attorney, Law Offices of John Schmidt, and he rejoins me now. He’s also my friend. Good to see you, John.

JOHN SCHMIDT: Hey, John. How are you doing?

JOHN RAMSEY : Always good to see you.

JOHN SCHMIDT: Good to see you, brother.

JOHN RAMSEY: Always good to see you, man. Yeah. We were talking about the new look, the new haircut, man.


JOHN RAMSEY: How’s it going over.

JOHN SCHMIDT: It — it’s good. You know, last time — last week — so during the – during the show, got a phone call from a lady, said the new look is working for me.

JOHN RAMSEY: Oh, good.

JOHN SCHMIDT: So, you know —

JOHN RAMSEY: That’s nice.

JOHN SCHMIDT: I’m not sure that this is meant to be, like, Tinder or eHarmony or whatever, but

JOHN RAMSEY: But it’s working out that way.

JOHN SCHMIDT: Apparently, this is – this has —

JOHN RAMSEY: You know —

JOHN SCHMIDT: — some side effects.

JOHN RAMSEY: It’s not a bad —

JOHN SCHMIDT: So I don’t know.

JOHN RAMSEY: — ancillary benefit, being on TV. It worked for you.

JOHN SCHMIDT: Yeah. You know what? I’m good.

JOHN RAMSEY: Yeah, yeah.

JOHN SCHMIDT: I’m good. Yeah, yeah. I’m good.

JOHN RAMSEY: You’re single.

JOHN SCHMIDT: I dated an incredibly wonderful woman and that didn’t work out, but she’s amazing, and I’m good.

JOHN RAMSEY: There you go.

JOHN SCHMIDT: I’m good. I —

JOHN RAMSEY: We’re good.

JOHN SCHMIDT: I’m good — I’m good being — I’m good being single. I’m good.

JOHN RAMSEY: Well, you — you led me into something here, and I’m going to go ahead and get into it.

JOHN SCHMIDT: What’s that, my friend?

JOHN RAMSEY: I think — I think sometimes it’s important if you’re talking about a certain topic, someone who has been there. You don’t mind stating the fact that you — you’ve been divorced before, and you say, you know, I think —


JOHN RAMSEY: Yeah. And — and — but you understand it because it’s —

JOHN SCHMIDT: Good attorney, bad husband. I don’t know what to tell you. I — I —


JOHN SCHMIDT: I don’t know what to do with that.



JOHN RAMSEY: It’s emotional and — and there are things that are — that — you know, if you’re — it’s — it’s one thing if you’re in court for something, let’s say, you know — I don’t know — some kind of contractual disagreement.


JOHN RAMSEY: Okay. That’s — that’s a — you know, now it’s coming down to signatures and, you know, the bottom line. Divorce is different. And I do think it’s important that you’re with someone who –


JOHN RAMSEY: — does care because you and I were chatting and we were talking about people and friends of ours getting divorced. And you said, hey, if I can save it — if they — if they want to do — you know, if they want to work on it, then — then I’ll support that. But — but if it’s come to that point, you’re also — you’re in to look out for and be their voice.

JOHN SCHMIDT: Right. They come see me for a — for a reason, and usually by the time they come to see me, they already –


JOHN SCHMIDT: — checked out and made the decision. And so — but if they walk in and they express, you know, some hesitation, I think it’s really important to make sure that you explore that and you’ve done everything you can, you’ve answered all the questions you have before you — before you make that decision, because what you don’t want to do is come out the other side with regrets. And also, yeah, there’s a great next level group of people at on site workshops down outside Nashville, Tennessee, and I’ve actually been there just to do the work for myself.

JOHN RAMSEY: Which — which involves self-care, which a lot of attorneys don’t want to6 talk about. Just, like, look, this is not going to be easy. And most people —


JOHN RAMSEY: — realize that, but you — you also are — you can help navigate that part as well.


JOHN RAMSEY: Let — let’s talk about things you need.


JOHN RAMSEY: Okay. So obviously, if you’re getting a divorce, you have come to that point. Let’s assume, okay, it’s a — we’re past that. Okay. Tax returns, mortgages, second mortgages, credit cards, loans, all of that stuff, this is stuff that, you know, get ready, right?

JOHN SCHMIDT: Yeah. So financial documents are important because we have to do a financial disclosure to the Court. Court can’t approve a settlement until it finds that it’s not unconscionable. And the Court can’t determine that it’s not unconscionable until it sees what the financial picture is and can make that assessment. So we have to do a complete financial disclosure to the Court and — so it can be acknowledge — so, for example, if — if, you know, one spouse files their disclosure, the other spouse goes, that’s right. Well, we can acknowledge that. So that — that’ll save some time and effort. But if — if not, then we need to put together one, and it needs to be as detailed and accurate as possible so the Court can make that assessment.

JOHN RAMSEY: And — and for those who have children, I think it’s important because you are family law — custody issues, you handle those as well. And you’re not divorcing the kids, so that’s something that’s also near and dear to your heart. If you have children, you want to make sure that they’re taken care of as well.

JOHN SCHMIDT: 100 percent, yeah.

JOHN RAMSEY: 100 percent.21

JOHN SCHMIDT: I mean, 100 percent. It’s not their fault. It’s — you know, it’s — and the kids frequently internalize that and think it is their fault. So divorce is, you know, an issue between the adults, and the kids don’t cause it. But they do love their mom, and they do love their dad, and they love them equally. And I had a foster brother who came from a terrible set of circumstances, and he loved his parents no matter what. And it was a horrible set of conditions.


JOHN SCHMIDT: But he always loved his mom and dad. So I mean, it’s — it’s just going to be the case. So you have to love your kids more than your hate your spouse. And the kids have to really be at the heart of it, and you have to make good choices for the kids. So yeah, I do care about the kids.

JOHN RAMSEY: All right. Let’s talk about the — two scenarios. And I find it interesting. You were telling me there’s a lot of times when you have a client who calls you, or a potential client — it fits there. And they say, okay, this is going to be uncontested. It’s going to be very smooth. Okay. That may be a — a one-sided statement, correct?

JOHN SCHMIDT: Yeah. That’s right — right. So we — we have people call and go, it’s uncontested, I know exactly what I want. And that’s –

JOHN RAMSEY: Oh, that’s nice.

JOHN SCHMIDT: That’s — that’s not uncontested. So uncontested is you’ve talked to your spouse. I mean, you’ve talked, right? Hey, John, we have this, we have that, you know, this is how we’re going to divide this, this is how we’re —

JOHN RAMSEY: By the way, I’m not divorcing you, just to be clear.

JOHN SCHMIDT: We’re not divorcing each other.

JOHN RAMSEY: No. We’re — we’re good.

JOHN SCHMIDT: We’re — no. We’re good. We’re solid. And so — so yeah. So you know, you’ve talked.


JOHN SCHMIDT: And you’ve — you’ve come to an agreement, and you know what you want.

JOHN RAMSEY: And it’s not contentious, and everybody’s, like, hey, I’m —


JOHN RAMSEY: — being reasonable, you’re being reasonable, and it’s not emotional –

JOHN SCHMIDT: It’s not — well, you know, I —

JOHN RAMSEY: — the decisions.

JOHN SCHMIDT: I’ve had people cry, right. And it’s okay to be emotional. You know, it’s an emotional thing.

JOHN RAMSEY: But I’m saying when you — when you’re dividing things up, it’s important to take emotion out of it and be reasonable.



JOHN SCHMIDT: It’s important to be fair to each other. And — and there’s one attorney, because if you have two attorneys, the other attorney’s going to have to justify their existence. It’s going to take more time than I can predict. And so I can’t — I can’t — I can’t give you the uncontested price. But if it’s — truly, you — you — you’re — know what you’re going to do, you’ve discussed it, you’ve got everything worked out, you come in and see me. Well, we can do it for $1,300.19

JOHN RAMSEY: Oh, 1,300, that’s it?

JOHN SCHMIDT: That’s it.

JOHN RAMSEY: So a lot of people are thinking —

JOHN SCHMIDT: That’s it.

JOHN RAMSEY: — I’m going to spend tens of thousands of dollars. No, not if it’s uncontested.

JOHN SCHMIDT: Only if you fight, so

JOHN RAMSEY: And — and you’re — and you’re willing to let them pay for the fight.

JOHN SCHMIDT: They can — yeah, if they want to pay for the fight, they can pay for the fight. It’s a free world. They can do it. But you know, I — I encourage them to be as mature about it as possible. So you know, it — there might be deeds included that — that are needed. Those are extra. There might be qualified domestic relations orders, or QDROs, those are extra. There are three people in town that really do them well: Charlie Meers, Bonnie Baker, and Stovall. So, you know, those three people really do those well.

JOHN RAMSEY: They do what well?

JOHN SCHMIDT: The qualified domestic relations orders.

JOHN RAMSEY: Oh, okay.

JOHN SCHMIDT: So we — we send them over to one of those three people, and we let them choose. And — and they do a really good job on getting that together. It’s a specialized thing. Ford’s pretty persnickety about their qualified domestic relations orders, so it’s kind of technical area, and these three people kind of focus on it.

JOHN RAMSEY: So if you’re interested in keeping attorney prices down, John’ll certainly help you with that. And he’s all for that, but I had to laugh. One time, you told me a story about a guy who said, look, I’ll — I — I’m — I’m going to get everything I want, and I’ve got deep pockets, and I’m going to fight, and he paid for the fight.

JOHN SCHMIDT: He paid for the fight.

JOHN RAMSEY: You said he said —

JOHN SCHMIDT: 100 percent.

JOHN RAMSEY: He said, I’m going to get my way.

JOHN SCHMIDT: A hundred percent

JOHN RAMSEY: And if not, she’s going to have to sit in court forever. Whatever the case may be.


JOHN RAMSEY: That’s funny. That’s — well, that guy had a little bit of — let’s just say some — he had an edge.


JOHN RAMSEY: He — he — he had an issue, and he — I don’t think he was quite over it, if you’ve got that kind of venom.

JOHN SCHMIDT: Yeah. Well, and that happens sometimes. And — and you know — and that’s fine. We — we — we take our clients where we find them, and we help them get to a better place, I hope. And — and we try to get results as quickly and — and cost- effectively as possible and protect our clients, and — you know, so — I mean, today just before we got here, an attorney called and said, hey, I’m in on the case, and we agree to go to mediation, and the case has just been filed. And actually, that happened twice today. So — so we’re able, when working with other pros, to really preserve the assets as much as possible for people because, you know, if you have $100,000, and you’re going to pay the attorneys half that, right, I mean, you’re — you’re going to have less to split. So why not preserve —

JOHN RAMSEY: Limit that.

JOHN SCHMIDT: — your assets –


JOHN SCHMIDT: — and have more.

JOHN RAMSEY: I agree with you.


JOHN RAMSEY: Yeah. There you go.

JOHN SCHMIDT: Don’t get me wrong, though. I’ll take your money if you want to pay me to fight, but

JOHN RAMSEY: But you’ll also advise them differently?

JOHN SCHMIDT: But yeah, let’s — let’s try to be smart about it.

JOHN RAMSEY: Yeah. All right.


JOHN RAMSEY: Again, John Schmidt, the Law Offices of John Schmidt. There’s the information. So any kind of family law issues that you have — as I said, I — when I say he’s an attorney who cares, that is because I do know John, and I know it is genuine. And when you come into an office in a difficult situation, your emotions are involved. And don’t get me wrong, he’s going to protect you. That’s important. Your voice is important. But he also understands that this is not simple. So John, thank you again for your time. Appreciate it.

JOHN SCHMIDT: Thank you, my friend.

JOHN RAMSEY: Family Law Friday, man.

JOHN SCHMIDT: Yeah. Appreciate it.

JOHN RAMSEY: All right. Stick around for some birthday cake.

JOHN SCHMIDT: Oh, good. Okay. Yeah. Good.

JOHN RAMSEY: We’re celebrating Josh’s birthday today.

JOHN SCHMIDT: We’ve got The Porch here doing the —

JOHN RAMSEY: Yeah. That’s right. We got chef John Broadway. Thank you for the –




I do hereby certify that the said matter was reduced to type written form under my direction, and constitutes a true record of the recording as taken, all to the best of my skill and ability. I certify that I am not a relative or employee of either counsel, and that I am in no way interested financially, directly or indirectly, in this action.