A bulldog divorce attorney is a lawyer who is known for their highly aggressive approach to representing their clients. While you always want an attorney to fight for your best interests, a bulldog divorce attorney can end up doing more harm than good.

This blog post will explore what a bulldog attorney is, why people choose them, and two viable alternatives.

What Exactly is a Bulldog Divorce Attorney?

A bulldog divorce attorney, also known as a “pit bull attorney,” is a colloquial term for a lawyer who is typically overly aggressive and intimidating in the courtroom.

However, this attacking style comes with a price tag. Often, their primary objective is to play dirty to extract the most money from you and the opposition.

Plus, they tend to litigate with poor conduct and abject behavior. Bulldog attorneys are loud, insulting, and bullying. They’re willing to viciously attack your ex, be less likely to compromise, and push for unrealistic outcomes.

Why Do People Choose Bulldog Divorce Attorneys?

Some people elect to hire a bulldog divorce attorney because of two reasons:

  1. Having deep pockets
  2. Desiring the personality of a bulldog attorney

Having Deep Pockets

If money is no object, it becomes a tool for getting back at the ex. Some will spend whatever it takes to win highly emotional divorce cases (e.g., cases involving infidelity, child support, or a large amount of property and assets).

In such divorce cases, people seek out a bulldog divorce attorney to punish the former spouse. They grant the lawyer the freedom to ring up the bill in order to hire private investigators, file for extraneous motions and hearings, extend the case, and try to win everything.

When emotions drive the decision-making, people hire pit bulls to chase unrealistic goals — all in the name of revenge.

Desiring the Personality of a Bulldog Attorney

Bulldog divorce attorneys can be an attractive option for those who have a bulldog mentality themselves. Some people are innately out for blood, so they want an attorney willing to air dirty laundry, bring in friends and family as pawns, and attack the opposition in the courtroom.

How Can Bulldog Divorce Attorneys Hurt Your Case?

Simply put, hiring a wildly aggressive lawyer can hurt your chances of a favorable financial outcome. They may even make you look bad and undoubtedly make your ex look even worse. Unfortunately, the attorney’s conduct and language can ultimately destroy relationships with your ex, your children, and even friends and family members.

Financial Repercussions

The more time it takes to resolve your case, the more money it will take. Bulldog divorce attorneys typically charge a higher rate and are driven by racking up legal fees. Extraneous arguing with opposing counsel and endless paperwork, hearings, and motions can skyrocket your legal bill. Worse yet, you may not recoup these costs with the final settlement.

Bulldog divorce attorneys often offend the judge or opposing counsel, which hurts your chances of getting a favorable settlement. The bulldog lawyer may promise you the world, but their tactics leave you with less than your fair share of the property and asset split.

Time & Energy Drain

If you’re already feeling stressed and overwhelmed, working with a bulldog attorney can make it even worse. You may spend more time on the phone or in meetings, preparing for court appearances and dealing with difficult questions from your attorney.

Damaging Relationships

Divorcing your spouse doesn’t mean you hate them. However, a bulldog attorney will seek ways to destroy their reputation in the courtroom and, far too often, in the real world. Hiring a bulldog attorney tells your ex that you’re not only ending ties but also looking to hurt each other.

If you have children, your bulldog attorney may drag them into court and ask them to testify. Your bulldog lawyer may ask which parent they prefer. This puts your children in a precarious situation.

Plus, it signals to them that you’ve chosen personal gain over their well-being. Even if they’re young, your kids will see your attorney’s behavior and remember the trauma from a highly contentious battle between their parents.

Attacking your ex with a bulldog divorce attorney is shortsighted, especially when children are involved. Your relationship with your ex doesn’t end in the courtroom. You’ll have to co-parent responsibly to ensure your kids’ mental and emotional health is cared for.

What Are Viable Alternatives to Bulldog Divorce Attorneys?

Without a doubt, you need a passionate, driven, and motivated attorney to help you achieve a successful divorce. But you don’t have to drain your financial and emotional bank accounts and hurt people along the way.

Finding the right attorney for your case involves asking yourself pertinent questions and identifying your goals. Once you’ve clarified your objectives, try one of two approaches as a more effective alternative to hiring a bulldog divorce lawyer:


Avoid judges, litigation, and courtrooms altogether with mediation. Divorce mediation is a process whereby a neutral third party (the mediator) meets with you and your partner to help reach an agreement on the terms of your divorce. The mediator does not take sides, make any decisions for you, or give legal advice; instead, they facilitate discussion and help you and your partner to identify areas of agreement and disagreement.

Mediation can be used to resolve issues such as child custody, visitation, alimony, property division, and more. Generally, mediation is faster and less expensive than divorce trials with bulldog divorce attorneys. It can also be less adversarial, which can be helpful for couples who want to maintain a cordial relationship after the divorce.

Divorce Consulting

Divorce consulting is a service where an attorney offers guidance and support during the divorce process. The consulting attorney helps you understand the legal process, identify your financial and personal goals and develop a plan for moving forward.

The consulting attorney is not your Attorney of Record like a bulldog divorce attorney. Rather, they are there only when you need them, saving you the costs of discovery, motions, letters, and phone calls. This helps you take control over your legal costs while gaining access to legal advice and oversight.

Ideally, you’ll want to hire a consulting divorce attorney for mediation cases because mediators do not provide legal advice. So make sure to hire an attorney before the mediation starts. This way, you can feel confident that your rights are protected from the start and that your best interests are met throughout the proceedings.

Next Steps

Avoid bulldog attorneys and all their unnecessary drama and costs. Instead, focus on your true goals and prioritize your health and your kids’ mental and emotional well-being. Ideally, keep things cordial with your spouse, too.

Remember, you’re getting divorced — not becoming enemies. Both of you can learn and grow from this experience and live fruitful lives post-divorce. To make this happen, find an attorney who is compassionate and strong and a dedicated ally throughout the divorce process.

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