A divorce lawyer who has worked on more than 1 million divorce cases in the U.S. has told the ABC’s Next Week she is “pretty devastated” after a slide and fall that led to a divorce settlement.
In a lengthy interview with ABC’s Dr. Jill Abramson, Diane Zinkler, the chief divorce lawyer for the Southern California office of Goodwill Industries, detailed her experience on two separate occasions during her two decades in divorce law.
Abramson was able to interview Zinklers family, as well as the other lawyers she has worked with in California, who also shared their stories of emotional pain and loss.
Abramsons story is not uncommon.
It is one of the reasons Zinkermanns story is worth sharing, Abramson said.
Zinkler said she was the lead divorce lawyer on two divorce cases and two divorce settlements in Southern California that were settled in 2009.
One of those settlements was a $7 million settlement for a California couple who had filed a claim against the former husband’s company, a financial institution that had allegedly taken advantage of them.
That settlement, which was reached through mediation, did not include any monetary payments from the company.
Zinks lawsuit said that in February 2009, Goodwill filed a “false and misleading” complaint to the state Department of Consumer Affairs alleging that the couple had been “victims of fraud” by Goodwill in the company’s business.
That complaint alleged that the company had falsified information in the contract with the California State Department of Business Oversight.
The California State Division of Business and Professional Regulation, the division that handled the investigation, found that Goodwill had “failed to act appropriately” and that the case was dismissed.
Abrahamson said Zinkers lawsuit against Goodwill was settled out of court without any monetary settlement, a decision that has “absolutely destroyed” her marriage and led to her divorce.
Absord interviewed Zinkiers family, her lawyers and a representative of Goodwills company, as the settlement was finalized.
Abbyson said the former couple’s family had never discussed the settlement with her.
The former husband, Robert Zinkman, said he was “horrified” when he learned of the settlement and has lost faith in Goodwill.
He said he had previously told his lawyer that he was happy with the settlement, but he is disappointed that he and his wife were unable to complete the paperwork necessary to finalize their divorce.
“We are devastated by this decision,” Robert Zinks said.
Abbey said that she was shocked that the settlement agreement, signed by Zinker’s lawyers and Goodwill’s attorney, was not signed in person and that it was sent electronically without any other document.
Abbie said she and Zink was unable to verify whether the agreement had been approved by the court or by a mediator.
Abzinkler and her husband, who was working as a divorce lawyer at the time, met with a mediators lawyer to discuss the settlement.
AbAbrahams interview with Zinkiers family is the first to be posted on the ABC website and will appear in print on Monday.ABC News has reached out to Goodwill for comment.