Dr. Drew Pinsky on ‘Divorce Corp.’ and family law reform

Dr. Drew narrates 'Divorce Corp.,' in theaters in select cities Jan. 10. Credit: Candor Entertainment
Dr. Drew narrates ‘Divorce Corp.,’ in theaters in select cities Jan. 10.
Credit: Candor Entertainment

“The biggest single reason for divorce in this country is marriage,” divorce attorney Gerald Nissenbaum says at the outset of the new documentary, “Divorce Corp.” But the film’s narrator, Dr. Drew Pinsky, tells Metro that attitude is “cynicism I’m trying to undo.”

“We need sustained, committed, healthy, regulated, happy relationships over long periods of time to raise stable adults,” argues Dr. Drew, who described “Divorce Corp.” as an in-depth profile of the “unbelievably dysfunctional” divorce industry.

Though known to many for his work as an addiction specialist, Dr. Drew says tackling divorce wasn’t too far-fledged a career move for him because it furthers his commitment to “championing stable and healthy relationships.” And once exposed to the material — like the fact that more money passes through family law court than all other U.S. courts combined — he was taken aback.

“There is this self-serving industry that really has very little interest in the individuals who are getting divorced,” he says, adding that the business of splitting up “incurs lying and fighting” and encourages unethical practices, like dragging out cases so that lawyers and judges can profit off cases much longer than necessary. According to the film, attorneys — who can charge upward of $500 per hour — are many times in cahoots with presiding judges, which means fairness often takes a backseat to cronyism.

“The judges themselves are deeply — in inappropriate ways — involved,” Dr. Drew says. “I mean, if this was a medical system, there’d be people in prison — we’re not allowed to do anything like that.”

So how can these people get away with their practices? Divorce courts are courts of equity, not courts of law, so constitutional rights aren’t always held up. That means if you can’t afford an attorney, you won’t get one. Dr. Drew says that the industry wasn’t established with malicious intent, but it’s “played out this way and it needs reform.” He’s hopeful that at the least the film will inspire conversation about what that reform could look like. And it seems some people are catching on — victims of family court and high-profile attorneys like Gloria Allred speak up in the film about shady practices.

Dr. Drew’s tips for a healthy marriage…

Recognize your bias
“If you come from divorce you’re much more likely to have divorce, particularly if you marry somebody that comes from divorce,” he says. “We end up recreating the traumas of our past. We’re always mystified when we’re attracted to the same kind of people [and we] have the same kind of outcome. That’s how it works and there are ways to undo it with psychological services.”

Use your resources
“I think mental health services work,” the doc says. “You should be getting pre-marital counseling, you should be committing to mental health services when you get into trouble rather than heading toward the door. In my family we’ve all had therapists … if we hadn’t used those mental health services I don’t know how things would have worked out. It paid dividends every time.”

Change your attitude
“As opposed toward thinking, ‘I’m miserable, how do I undo this?’ [switch to] ‘I’m miserable, how do I make things better?’”


…and a healthy divorce

Choose a lawyer who doesn’t do drama
“If somebody makes their living in the courts, you wonder. I’d like to have somebody who has a more general legal point of view.”

Don’t start a war
“Commit to yourself that you’re gonna drop legal documents and leave it at that. You’re not gonna allow the attorneys to push you into battle.”


Police warn of attempted assault on woman near…

Police in Cambridge issued an alert after a woman said she was the victim of an attempted sexual assault after leaving Porter Square early Wednesday.…


Kevin Kayvon Edson: Finish line hoax suspect sent…

The man who allegedly left a backpack near the finish line on the anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings was due in court on Wednesday.


Wahlbergs expanding Wahlburgers fast food joint across North…

Wahlburgers, a fast casual burger restaurant founded by brothers Mark, Donnie, and Paul Wahlberg and subject of a new A&E Network’s original series, “Wahlburgers”, announced expansion plans in North America,…


Nearly 300 missing after South Korean ferry capsizes

Almost 300 people were missing after a ferry capsized off South Korea Wednesday, in what could be the country's biggest maritime disaster in over 20 years.


Jim Rash talks 'The Writer's Room' and amazing…

For Jim Rash, as the fifth season of "Community" comes to a close, the second season of "The Writer's Room" begins.


Poems from prison: 'How to Survive a Bullet…

Celebrate National Poetry Month with, "'How to Survive a Bullet to the Heart."


Review: 'Heaven is for Real' tries to be…

The mega-bestseller "Heaven is for Real" becomes a movie that tries to portray wrestling with faith — or at least it tries to try.


TV watch list, Wednesday, April 16: 'The Americans,'…

'The Americans' Philip and Elizabeth face "painful turns" in their missions. Maybe next week they'll have a nice easy mission with no moral ambiguity? Probably…


MLB video highlights: White Sox beat Red Sox…

Red Sox fall on walk-off error to White Sox


NBA Draft Lottery day is May 20: Celtics…

NBA Draft Lottery day is Tuesday, May 20: Celtics percentage odds for a top overall pick


Opinion: Major League Baseball replay system shouldn't be…

Opinion: Major League Baseball replay system shouldn't be dumped just yet


Bruins - Red Wings preview: David Krejci ready…

Bruins - Red Wings preview: David Krejci ready to erupt once again in playoffs


Steal home decorating tips from stylist and creator…

We hit her up for some space-conscious, budget-friendly design tips.


Wahlbergs expanding Wahlburgers fast food joint across North…

Wahlburgers will open new restaurants in Boston, Toronto and Philadelphia.


Could a facelift give you the edge at…

It's not just women lining up for procedures.


How to plant a garden in the city

Small on space but big on gardening? You can still have that welcoming oasis of fresh air with an urban garden. Peter Smith, owner of…



  1. http://www.HowIgotCustody.org

    And the system is NEVER going to change (or at least not within the next 50 years).

    Meanwhile fathers (the main victims of family court) need to fight THE RIGHT WAY WITHOUT AN ATTORNEY. That’s the only way fathers can get anything fair most of the time. That’s how it worked for me.