Divorce: when abuse is present

Jan 24, 2023

What happens during a divorce when abuse is present? How do you safeguard yourself and those you love during those tough times? Divorce can be an incredibly difficult experience, and it gets even more complicated when abuse is involved. With the help of Susan and Tracy in this episode, you’ll learn how to safeguard yourself or your loved ones during these tough times. Knowing the signs of various forms of abuse could prove vital for protecting both yourself and those around you from further harm.

Takeaways from this episode:

  • Identify When To Divorce
  • What evidence can be used in a divorce proceeding
  • Misperceptions of divorce

Local (Omaha) resource for help: Women’s Center for Advancement

Tracy’s favorite podcasts: 

Boom! Lawyered

Midwest Misfits

The Daily

Up First 

This American Life

Hidden Brain

Susan’s favorite podcasts: 

Unf*ck Your Brain

Pod Save America

Yes, I am Adopted Don’t Make it Weird



Tracy Hightower-Henne: Divorce, abuse and when you should change your Facebook relationship status. On today’s episode of The Lady Lawyer League podcast.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: Welcome to the Lady Lawyer League podcast. I feel like it’s been a little while.

Susan Reff: I think it’s been for me like two or three months, so I’m super rusty.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: But also for the listeners, it’s only been two weeks.

Susan Reff: I know.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: So let’s go with that.

Susan Reff: Yeah, well, they’re lucky they get every week, right?

Tracy Hightower-Henne: Because we know every other week right now.

Susan Reff: Oh, every other week.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: Sorry. Season three. Every other week, Season three. There’s a lot of stuff going on. So we had to like do a every other week thing.

Susan Reff: Yeah. Life, life and podcasting can be a lot.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: Yeah. We have a lot of podcasts to listen to. Yeah, maybe in the show notes we’ll share some of our favorite podcasts that we listen to. Yeah, that’s.

Susan Reff: Fun.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: So today we’re talking about divorce and when abuse is present, right? And I think that this is a really important topic that all the trigger warnings we’re going to be talking about domestic violence and some financial abuse when money can be used as a way to keep someone in a relationship. And unfortunately, we see that a lot with our cases. So some trigger warnings that those are the things we’re going to be talking about. And then also just some fun ways to talk about divorce in general. Maybe sometimes when you don’t want it to happen or you want it to happen more than your spouse.

Susan Reff: Like a one sided divorce. Yeah, I don’t think that’s like a term, but I just made it up, right?

Tracy Hightower-Henne: Yeah, I did.

Susan Reff: Yeah. One side of divorce. So a lot of people come in and they have had a history of abuse in their marriage and they don’t always want to tell us right in their first meeting.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: Yeah.

Susan Reff: And that’s really hard like, and as attorneys sometimes we will specifically ask folks, and I’ve had a case where I specifically asked the client if there was a history of domestic violence, and the answer was no. And then later in the case, they told me that their spouse had hit them in the past. And I thought to myself, well, I asked if there was domestic violence, and they said no. So I dropped it, you know, like I thought, okay, move on. Next topic we’re going to talk about. And then later I found out that there was and I was confused by that.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: Yeah, I think there’s a legal definition of domestic violence and there’s also the subjective idea of domestic violence and what happens behind literal closed doors, I think, for some people is like, you know, a belief that maybe that wasn’t enough, right? Or it was just one time. And it’s also, you know, there’s this stigma around domestic abuse and domestic violence, too, that people don’t necessarily want other people to know what’s happened behind closed doors, even their divorce attorney.

Susan Reff: Right. And I also think there’s like words matter. You know, domestic violence to that person might mean something different than hitting. That’s right. You know, like maybe they think it’s only called domestic violence that happens over and over and over and over. And they told me it just happened that one time. So, you know, and I think we’re here to say, like any physical violence is domestic violence. One time is enough.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: And in in Nebraska, which is where we are licensed to practice, oftentimes we see our clients have protection orders in addition to their divorce case, whether that’s filed first or the divorce is filed first. And oftentimes navigating those two areas of the court can be really interesting as well, where if we have a divorce on file and there’s also a protection order, sometimes judges think, well, we can deal with the physical violence within the divorce case. And that often isn’t the same ramifications if someone has a protection order in place.

Susan Reff: So Right.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: That goes into the legal definition piece of that as well. What does the judge think the definition is? Because judges are humans and people forget that, too.

Susan Reff: Yeah. And for a protection order, you know, there’s a lot more that can come that that matters. I mean, that’s terrible to say, but there’s a lot more about the abuse that matters in a protection order case than actually in a divorce case.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: Well, then you add in children, right? And all of a sudden a protection order becomes somewhat of a custody order as well. So judges have a lot to consider. And oftentimes protection orders can go in place with. Out of hearing two. And one of the one of there’s a lot of questions that we get asked, not necessarily from the clients who have physical violence in their case, but from friends and acquaintances that are interested about what it’s like being a divorce attorney. Right. And so some of the questions that we get is how much how much domestic violence is in your case or how many people have affairs, or what are the reasons that people get divorced and people are really interested. And I think sometimes they’re interested because they want to know about their own marriage.

Susan Reff: Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. They’re doing that like, Hey, I have this friend.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: I’m asking for a friend. Yeah, yeah. So I don’t think that domestic violence is always the last thing in a marriage that creates someone filing for divorce.

Susan Reff: No, not at all. And I think it’s fair to say, too, in Nebraska, you don’t have to have a reason to get divorced. So you don’t have to like you don’t have to have something as serious as domestic violence to get a divorce. In fact, you don’t have to have any reason at all. You just have to prove to the judge that your marriage is broken and that there’s nothing more you could do to keep it together. Right. Which isn’t hard to prove.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: And sometimes we have clients who are not willing to make those allegations either. So specifically.

Susan Reff: Are these the one sided divorces?

Tracy Hightower-Henne: Yes. Yeah. The one side of.

Susan Reff: The other.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: Side that you just made up today? Yeah. Specifically the allegation that your marriage is irretrievably broken, that you’ve made some efforts at reconciliation and that you don’t believe any further efforts at reconciliation would be successful. I think I did a good job exactly what the statute says. And so oftentimes. Well, the word reasonable is in there that you’ve made reasonable efforts at reconciliation. And sometimes our clients say, well, he hasn’t made any efforts at reconciliation, so he just walked out.

Susan Reff: Yeah, he just abandoned me.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: And there is never a point in Nebraska, because we are a no fault state. There’s never a point that we have to provide evidence of whether those efforts have happened or if we think that they would be successful if they kept doing it. So right. We don’t have to bring a therapist in to say, well, I think if they did some more therapy, maybe they could save the marriage.

Susan Reff: Right. And the court can’t order them in Nebraska because in Iowa they can they can’t order them to go and give it one more shot, like in couples counseling or something like that.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: Right. So when we have a divorce that has abuse involved, a lot of questions that we get are can the victim of domestic violence maybe get more in the divorce, more assets or things like that? Oftentimes that’s not the case because we are a no fault state. Really. When we talk about domestic violence, it’s making a safety plan for our clients to get out of the house. Any time we’re looking at evidence is is do we need to present the evidence in order to get exclusive use of the home, for example?

Susan Reff: Yeah, the the idea that the abuser will be punished through the divorce by getting less or being, like labeled as the bad guy doesn’t work because again, we’re a no fault state. And I say guy. And to be fair, I said that because it was just easy, but you might be the bad woman or whatever, because we have seen domestic violence can go both ways. Men can be perpetrators, women can be perpetrators, men can be victims, women can be victims. It can happen in a same sex relationship. It can happen in a heterosexual relationship.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: Yes, Domestic violence is not gender specific. There are certain.

Susan Reff: So the idea of one person saying, well, they’ve abused me, maybe there is clear evidence that is easy to prove. So I should get more. I should I should get all the retirement and the whole house and all the cars and all the jewelry and all the gold and all the cash and whatever else they might have.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: Do you have a lot of gold in your divorces? Have you ever had some gold?

Susan Reff: I, I did work on a case where there was some gold bars in silver bars.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: Did you ever see them?

Susan Reff: No. They were appraised because they had them appraised for insurance. So we just everyone agreed that that was the value. So I think in the appraisal, when you get in a something appraised, there’s usually a picture.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: Yeah. Was it like the bars that are like £20. Yes. In the movies you see in the space.

Susan Reff: Yes. Yes.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: Stacked up.

Susan Reff: Yes. Yes.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: What other big assets have you had.

Susan Reff: Besides actual.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: Gold. Yeah. Have you ever had anything delivered to the office?

Susan Reff: No.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: Really?

Susan Reff: No. Oh no, I, I have very firmly put my foot down that I don’t want to be the keeper of anything valuable for anyone else.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: I’ve had some things recently delivered to our office.

Susan Reff: I have heard. And I saw a box in someone’s. Office with some creepy items in it.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: Yeah.

Susan Reff: And you know what? Turns out that doll wasn’t even supposed to be transferred.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: That’s right. Box. Yeah.

Susan Reff: Was it creepy, doll?

Tracy Hightower-Henne: We’ve been the keeper of some things. I remember one time a small safe was delivered. I didn’t even know what was in the safe because the other person didn’t have the key. And the other person needed to pick up the safe.

Susan Reff: Like a lockbox.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: Yeah, like a little size that you would see in the hotel, huh? So, yes, I prefer that we not be the keeper. But every once in a while, someone doesn’t want to see the other person and we safe keep. And I often say you need to drop it off, and then the other person picks it up the same day. We don’t need to have a liability either. If there’s gold in there, someone steals it. It’s not on me.

Susan Reff: Yeah, yeah. The gold thing. I think a lot of people feel that gold and silver is a safe investment instead of like the market. Because while their prices fluctuate, I think they fluctuate more slowly. Right. And they’re not based on like, Oh, you know, Southwest messed up all those flights and now their stock is bombing, right. Type of thing. Right.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: So well, so kind of speaking of that, in this idea of financial abuse, you know, financial abuse is a phrase that isn’t really an official term in Nebraska, but it is that idea that someone maybe gives the other person a sort of small allowance and says, I’ll give you $100 a week and nothing more, and that person then can not actually leave the marriage because they are not able to go anywhere. Right? They’re not able to leave the house, they’re not able to get rent anywhere, and they have no other access to funds. And oftentimes when I think about financial abuse, I also think about dissipation of marital funds in anticipation of divorce.

Susan Reff: That’s a lot of big words.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: Yeah. So like literally spending down money for for things that were not jointly beneficial to the marriage. Yeah. So going to Las Vegas and put in 10,000 on read let it Ride that type of stuff.

Susan Reff: So yeah and those are it’s sometimes hard to prove that that’s the reason somebody was doing it.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: Sure.

Susan Reff: So to to try to get a judge to see it that way too.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: And I think a lot of it has to do with timing. Like how close is it to the filing of divorce or but if it’s years, it is a different it can be difficult.

Susan Reff: Here’s what I don’t understand in those circumstances is the person who’s spending down or, you know, potentially taking a lower paying job or whatever it might be, cashing out retirements like they’re only hurting themselves in the future. I feel like to. So why are they? It’s like self sabotaging also, right?

Tracy Hightower-Henne: Well, they’re not thinking rationally.

Susan Reff: Yeah.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: Certainly true.

Susan Reff: Yeah. I shouldn’t use my rational brain to think like an irrational person.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: Right. So one of the other things that is a difficult part in Nebraska is getting exclusive use of the home to.

Susan Reff: Yeah, like during the case.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: And one of the things that do you find this to when we when I do consults we’re at the very first conversation with a client and they’re still living together with their spouse and they will say, well, at some point he’s got to move out or she’s got to move out. And I go through the whole spiel to say, Well, sometimes the judge isn’t going to make someone move out or kick someone out. So we have to either have an agreement or you’re going to stay living together or you leave voluntarily, temporarily. And people are aghast at that. They cannot believe that two people going through a divorce are going to remain living together.

Susan Reff: I feel like the person who takes care of the home more thinks that they’re entitled to the home and that they think that if they like, will judge. I’m the one that mops the floors and takes out the trash and does the laundry and does the dishes and dusts the stuff like they think that that’s going to be the reason the judge gives them the home. I mean, sure, when the judges really approach it more from a practical standpoint of like, can this family afford two homes during this time? If they can, How much is the mortgage? And is that more than moving out into something else and those types of things? I mean, like judges think about all of that.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: Yeah. And they’re often thinking about is there a guest bedroom where you can sleep separately? Is there sort of a separate living arrangement? A lot of some discussion that happened through COVID, too, is some people are working from home. So are they both working from home? Yeah. But then when you add in the domestic violence issue in Nebraska, if we can prove either emotional or. Physical abuse. Then the judge has the discretion to require someone to move out.

Susan Reff: Right.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: And that becomes, again, sometimes a he said she said situation for a judge. And we oftentimes will come in very seriously asking the judge to make a finding. And the other side, for example, may very seriously deny that. And the judge has to decide, Yeah.

Susan Reff: And at that point we’re just in a temporary setting. So it’s affidavits. So the judge doesn’t even get to see the people and hear from them directly as to what’s going on. They only get to read their affidavit.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: Yeah, it’s only a written statement.

Susan Reff: So that’s that’s a really hard part of the case. I feel like when there actually is abuse going on because it’s really hard to just put it on paper. And then I think it’s hard for judges to force someone out of their home based on an affidavit, Right. When this is a home maybe they’ve been living in for like ten, 15, 20 years even. Right.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: So, well, and then if you also have issues of domestic violence, what can create additional problems is physical violence in the home, either before or after someone moves out. So holes being punched in the wall and then devaluing the asset of the home if it’s going to be sold later and sometimes intentionally, because again, we’re not usually talking about rational people.

Susan Reff: Yeah, yeah. We’ve had we’ve definitely had cases where someone is like upset with something going on in the divorce case and they trashed the house in some way, shape or form. Yeah, So that’s interesting when that happens, how we have to work through that.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: But right. And thankfully, usually when we’re valuing the home too, we’re talking usually to an appraiser who’s appraising the home that usually those types of cosmetic issues can be. Don’t really devalue the home, right? A hole in the wall can be fixed and things like that. So that’s pretty helpful.

Susan Reff: But but we’ve had some serious cases where someone’s been either awarded the house or they stay in the house and they literally like, stop taking out the trash and they stop cleaning it. And like maybe that bathroom sink has been leaking and it’s getting worse and it’s leaking into the floor and then the flooring is getting destroyed. I mean, like stuff like that, especially on cases that take a long time to process through.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: Well, they’re not mowing the lawn. Yep. Because maybe that’s the spouse that left is the one that mow the lawn, which is not always the man because I mow the lawn at my house. Well, I take it back. I mow the front yard.

Susan Reff: Well, you do some of it.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: Do you mow the lawn at your house?

Susan Reff: Sometimes. My child mows the lawn a lot.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: Is he good at it?

Susan Reff: Yeah. Anybody that actually pushes a mower around, whatever. I mean, to me, this is a soapbox. Are you ready?

Tracy Hightower-Henne: Yeah, I’m ready.

Susan Reff: Grass is stupid. Grass is the stupidest thing in the world. Unless you’re feeding an animal with it. Because, you know, for for my home, for example, we have a sprinkler system. We pay electricity and water to run the sprinkler system, to make the grass grow. And then we pay some company to come and put probably horrible chemicals on it to make it grow and look better. And then at least like every ten days, we have to spend money on a lawn mower and gas and go out there in our time and cut it down.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: But you don’t have to. There’s natural habitats you can like. Yeah, in the city.

Susan Reff: Yes, you can do the natural habitat so that when you’re in grass.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: So that when your neighbor gets mad that you didn’t mow your lawn. I’m using air quotes. Yeah. And they call the city. Well but there’s.

Susan Reff: Oh yes there are people.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: Audio but they when your neighbor calls the city to complain that you didn’t mow your grass and it’s just a natural habitat I think you get an exception for that So you don’t have to do all of that well. But you do.

Susan Reff: Yeah, you do, because there’s that like keeping up with the Joneses thing, right? Idea. But the natural habitat thing is really interesting. You can only have a certain percentage of your lawn be grass. You have to have like wild flowers, vegetable garden, wild grass, wild grasses.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: Not so next to our house is a swath of land. A slice of land.

Susan Reff: Some land. Yeah.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: Yeah. It’s not a whole.

Susan Reff: Strip strip.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: Swath. Yes. Anyways, whatever word you want to use, adjective that is a prairie grass preserve. So we literally can’t touch it. Yeah. And they’re preserving the natural grasses and it gets long. But anyway, so if you’re in a house and you don’t mow the lawn, you.

Susan Reff: Could get in trouble.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: A problem?

Susan Reff: Well, an HOA sometimes have rules and it can be a whole thing. Yeah, like literally we get calls. Well, I got the HOA complaint and I’m not even living there. And my ex, soon to be ex, isn’t even mowing the lawn.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: Right.

Susan Reff: Who’s in charge now? Who’s in trouble?

Tracy Hightower-Henne: Well, the city will come mow it and then send you a bill and it’s like $500.

Susan Reff: Yeah. That’s a big deal if the city comes. But then they’re getting those HOA complaints with fees or whatever. So, yeah, that’s a big deal. Mow your lawn.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: But those are things that actually happens in a divorce. And sometimes we are helping with those logistics, like literal logistics of paying bills. And when we have domestic abuse happening to the communication between the spouses is almost completely void.

Susan Reff: You know, and I think it’s fair to say and I think a lot of people recognize this, but, you know, abuse, whether physical, financial, emotional, it’s it seems to be based in a power play. And so that person continues the abuse sometimes or tries to through the divorce process, like how can I make this process harder, scarier, more expensive, whatever, to that other person? It’s like another way I can abuse them. Yeah. And sometimes we don’t always recognize that is happening in cases either because we think the case is going the way cases go. And then the, you know, our client might say, Well, I think they’re dragging it out so they can continue to have control over me or they keep bringing me back to mediation because they want to make me miss work.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: And or intimidate me in person. Yeah.

Susan Reff: Or whatever it might be. So, like, I think recognizing that as an attorney too is important.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: I think the like in closing, the last thing that’s really important to talk about too, is that, you know, there are different types of cases that people can represent themselves, kind of go through the process. But when there is any sort of abuse, domestic violence, physical abuse, emotional and or financial, I think it’s really, really important that each person, especially the victim, is represented by an attorney. Yeah. And, you know, in in our city and state, there are options for low income people who are going through the situation. We have the Women’s Center for Advancement. We have Legal aid of Nebraska. And I’m sure you know, in other states there’s places like that, too. And there’s also just attorneys that will do low bono or pro bono help as well. So I think that all of that is really important because another way to actually take advantage of someone through the court process is to continue to abuse them. Right. And especially that’s easy to do if someone’s not represented.

Susan Reff: And both Legal Aid and the Women’s Center for Advancement have identified victims of domestic violence as a priority for their legal departments. So they will take those people’s cases, whether it’s a protection order, a custody case, a divorce case, something like that.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: Yes. So so we’re going to go to our Google questions. These are the random questions compiled by our team of top notch and very weird producers. What’s the quickest way to get divorced? Uh oh, gosh. Well, in Nebraska, you have to wait 60 days. Yeah, it’s called a cooling off period. Actually, the legislative history, which is super dorky, is that like, a long time ago, people in Nebraska didn’t want people to have a fight, and the next day they’re divorced, so they had to cool off for 60 days.

Susan Reff: Yeah. So the, like, legitimately, the quickest way to get divorced is to work everything out with your soon to be ex ahead of time. Go to go to an attorney who’s willing to draft up your documents and then get your ex soon to be ex to sign them and then wait the 60 days.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: That’s right. So in Nebraska, 61 days. 61 days. And final answer next. How many times can you divorce and remarry in the USA? Well, I was thinking about this because we do see these questions beforehand. If you get divorced in Nebraska 60 days, but then you can’t get married again until six months after your divorce is final anywhere in the world. So that’s eight months. So every eight months you can get married in divorce. So do the math.

Susan Reff: Well, what’s.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: Your life expectancy?

Susan Reff: I read this a little differently. Oh, I read this is to the same person.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: Oh, that is not what it says.

Susan Reff: I know it. It isn’t. I was reading into it, which I do a lot, but.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: Oh, but it does say remarry. I get it.

Susan Reff: So if you are remarrying the same person, you don’t have to wait after the divorce is finalized the.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: Six months, right? Yeah.

Susan Reff: You don’t even have to wait a day, I don’t think.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: No, I think that’s true. And. But you still have to wait 60 days before you can get divorced every time.

Susan Reff: So every 61 days.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: Every 61 days you could remarry the same person.

Susan Reff: And you know what’s really cool? You can get married at the courthouse and divorced at the courthouse.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: So I also. You know this, I have performed four wedding ceremonies and one of them I also divorced them.

Susan Reff: How many of those four people that you married are divorced, besides the one any of the other.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: Two out of the four? So 50%.

Susan Reff: So that’s our stat right now.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: Yeah. I married a Russian bride. Will she have to go back if I divorce her?

Susan Reff: Oh, God.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: I don’t know. Talk to your immigration lawyer.

Susan Reff: That involves immigration, not divorce, or.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: Just watch MTV or something. They’ll tell you the answer. 90 day bride.

Susan Reff: I don’t think that’s on TV, but yeah.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: Vh one, one of those. Bravo! Tlc, TLC, TLC.

Susan Reff: Thank you.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: Can I legally change my Facebook relationship status to It’s complicated during separation. You can change it during that during your marriage if you want to.

Susan Reff: This this question is very silly. There’s nothing in divorce cases that tells you what to do with your social media accounts, except for sometimes the judge will say you can’t disparage the other parent.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: And you actually can’t delete your social media as a preservation of evidence. Yeah, So you can change your status, You can change delete anything else. Yeah. My wife taped over the 95 Nebraska championship game for her sister’s bridal shower. Dot, dot, dot. Yes. You should divorce her. Come to us.

Susan Reff: For who’s taping anything these.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: Days. Was it? It had to be on VHS, right. 95 Nebraska championship game Sister’s.

Susan Reff: Bridal.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: Shower. So that if it’s on a VHS, then she had the whole, like, big. All right. Yes.

Susan Reff: Divorce her. Yeah.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: Come talk to Hightower Law. I can’t tell. So how do I find out if someone is married or divorced? Ask them if my friends are like, Hey, I met this person. I’m like, Look them up on the docket, and then you can find out if there’s a divorce.

Susan Reff: Yeah.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: So in Nebraska, in Douglas County, which is where Omaha is, it’s a very simple way to find out. Find a marriage license if they got married in Douglas County. Yeah, it’s all part of public record. So go to your courthouse, find out.

Susan Reff: You can you can look up a marriage license and a divorce, filing the marriage license you can usually find on Google. On Google, though, I feel like. Right. Licenses. Yeah, but like it’s the same as finding.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: A you might have to pay like $5.95.

Susan Reff: No, it’s free.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: 595.

Susan Reff: I’ll show you.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: Does 595 mean $5.95 or $595?

Susan Reff: Depends on what your dialect is. Okay, I want to tell that story now.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: No. Yeah, well, now you do know. You tell it. Okay, so.

Susan Reff: We went there, but you tell it.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: We had to renew Carbonite.

Susan Reff: Yeah, like cybersecurity. And do we still have that?

Tracy Hightower-Henne: No, no, because it was so 595. I think it was 199. No, it was 1199.

Susan Reff: No, five, 95 599 OC 599.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: And I said, Hey, Susan, do you want to renew Carbonite? It’s 599 for the year.

Susan Reff: No, you didn’t say it to me. So I get a phone call.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: Tell the story.

Susan Reff: I’m didn’t tell the story, tell it correctly. So this is when Tracy and I like we’re probably like year two and we get a phone call and I take it and the guy is like, Hey, I’m Joe from Carbonite, I’m your rep and your subscription is your annual subscriptions coming due? Do you want to renew it? And I was like, Well, yeah, of course. And I said, But how much is it? And he’s like, Well, for one year it’s like 425, but for two years it’s 599. If you renew with me over the phone. And I was like, Well, that sounds like a pretty good deal.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: Like a dollar 35. Cool. Yeah, that’s not the right math, by the way. I know. I’m sure of it. Close enough.

Susan Reff: Yeah. And I was like, That’s a really good deal. And he’s like, Och. And so we do all the paperwork over the phone and I don’t know, you emailed me and I signed something or whatever. And then Tracy like three or four days later I was like, Oh my God, what’s this, $599 Carbonite charge on our credit card? I was like, What? That was only supposed to be $5.99. And she’s like, You have to get us out of this. So I call the guy back and I say, Hey, you told me it was 599. He goes, It is 599. And I said, Yeah, $5.99.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: He did it on purpose.

Susan Reff: And he’s like, Well, no, 599 means 599. I go, No, it doesn’t. It means $5 nine. He goes, Well, where are you located? I said, Omaha, Nebraska. I go, Where are you located? And he was like, Columbus, Ohio, or something like that, somewhere in Ohio. And he’s like, Well, you probably just don’t understand my dialect. Oh, something like that was like, I was like, Well, you need to cancel this right now.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: Or I’m going to call the Better Business Bureau.

Susan Reff: I just said, you have to cancel it because that was more. More than we thought it was going to be. And we have to chat about I have to chat about it with my law partner.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: So nothing was protected for the next year.

Susan Reff: I don’t know what we did after that. I’m sure something was taken care of, but that was hilarious.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: We’ve learned now to ask where is the decimal point? And that’s all we have.

Susan Reff: Thank you for joining us on today’s podcast. Make sure to subscribe so you never miss an episode. In the show notes, you’ll find some of Tracy and his favorite podcasts.

Announcer: Thank you for listening to the Lady Lawyer Leak podcast. Be sure to like and subscribe anywhere you get your podcasts if you would like to learn more about our. At H.R. law, Omaha.

Tracy Hightower-Henne: We’ll see you next week.

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