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Attorney & Mediator
Attorney & Mediator, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
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Experience:  Attorney & Certified Mediator
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Please help me. I have an expensive attorney who is not representing

Customer Question

Please help me. I have an expensive attorney who is not representing me. My ex-husband has not paid child support in 5 months or alimony in 8 months. We have a deal memo drafted and signed by a private judge, but no signed judgement which means I can't file contempt, etc . My laywers won't call me back (nor can I afford to keep calling them) and I need to take action to make my ex-husband pay support. What can I do on my own? Can I contact the court? The state? There must be some options. I am running out of resources... Please help!
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Attorney & Mediator replied 8 years ago.
1) What state are in you?

2) Did this "deal memo" provide any reference on what actions you can pursue?

Thanks
Customer: replied 8 years ago.

I am in the state of California. As for the deal memo, no, I believe it just lays out the financial agreement (settlement, support, etc). Would it be worth contacting the private judge who drafted the memo and ask her advice? What can I do on my own? I can't afford to keep going through my attorney.
Expert:  Attorney & Mediator replied 8 years ago.
Thanks Maggie for the reply.

I just noticed your additional information come up as well after I posted my information request.

Generally these "deal memos" have no enforceability as you can only enforce when there is a Judgment. This appears to be a written note to be complied with by the honor system. I would suggest that you contact the Judge who prepared it to see what the intent was about enforcement. Usually issues of child support and spousal support are enforce through family court, not through a civil cause of action (such as a breach of contract claim).

In addition when you are in the process of divorce, you can request temporary orders for spousal support (called pendente lite) and child support. These are temporary orders you request while you work out the final settlement agreement. This is typically asked after filing for divorce through a notice of motion or order to show cause. Once these temporary orders are issued then those can be enforced if violated. So not sure what the intent was here between the lawyers, other than avoiding to get these temporary orders in place.

Since you are represented, your lawyer is the one who needs to follow up with these enforcements. If this lawyer is not working out for your best interests, I think it is time to move on (I understand this may be eaiser said, than done).


So I would call the Judge first to see what the intent was on enforcement. From there I would request your lawyer to file temporary orders if the final settlement is not going to be worked out any time soon, that is if the "deal memo" cannot be worked out.


Hope this helps you.



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Legal Disclaimer. The information given by me is not legal advice. . You should not and may not rely on anything on this website as legal advice. I am not establishing an attorney-client relationship with you. I am providing only research, resources and information only for you to be informed and educated about your particular needs and my answer is limited to the facts presented. I do not provide general or specific legal advice. . I also do not claim to be licensed to practice in the state where this information is being provided. I strive to provide quality information, but I make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained in or linked herein and it’s associated sites. As law is always changing, you are recommended to speak with the appropriate legal counsel for accurate and complete information. The only way that I am legally responsible for your legal rights is if you have signed a written retainer agreement with my law firm. No part of this disclaimer can be reproduced without the consent of the owner. Thank you.


Attorney & Mediator and 2 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Thanks for your response. The orders we have for child support and alimony are not temporary. We already had temporary child support and alimony numbers. These are the final agreed upon amounts. The problem with switching attorneys is that I cannot afford to pay another retainer fee to another attorney. What about people who are not represented? How do they fight these battles? There must be alternatives to using an attorney. No?
Expert:  Attorney & Mediator replied 8 years ago.
As you have an unsigned final judgment then your lawyer needs to file a motion to compel his signature or request the Judge to sign it into order without his signature. The "deal memo" carries no enforcibility (in my opinion, but confirm with the Judge who created it), but when there is a final judgment and a spouse refuses to sign you can compel his signature or request that Judge sign the final judgment.

As to lawyers...only those with low income qualify for legal aid. In California there are Family Facilitator clinics who can assist pro se with their paperwork, but they do not provide legal representation and some are limited in their representation. You can contact them to see if they can assist you with the paperwork, but again if you have a lawyer they might not get involved.




If I have been helpful, please click Accept for my time and research, this is the only way I get paid. If you need more help or clarification, please click reply. Positive Feedback is greatly appreciated and reciprocated. Feedback should relate to customer service and not about the law, which I have no control over, thank you.

Legal Disclaimer. The information given by me is not legal advice. . You should not and may not rely on anything on this website as legal advice. I am not establishing an attorney-client relationship with you. I am providing only research, resources and information only for you to be informed and educated about your particular needs and my answer is limited to the facts presented. I do not provide general or specific legal advice. . I also do not claim to be licensed to practice in the state where this information is being provided. I strive to provide quality information, but I make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained in or linked herein and it’s associated sites. As law is always changing, you are recommended to speak with the appropriate legal counsel for accurate and complete information. The only way that I am legally responsible for your legal rights is if you have signed a written retainer agreement with my law firm. No part of this disclaimer can be reproduced without the consent of the owner. Thank you.

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