Family Law Questions? Ask a Family Lawyer Online.
Hello. Thank you for your question. Have you and your spouse finished negotiating the terms of the divorce, or are you still discussing?
WE HAVE HAD OUR FINAL DIVORCE HEARING AND WAS PRONOUNCED DIVORCED BY THE JUDGE, BUT I AM STILL AWAITING THE NEW FIGURES FOR CHILD SUPPORT, AND THE DIVORCE DECREE TO BE TYPED AND FILED WITH THE COURTS. IT HAS BEEN FOUR MONTHS. MY EX IS NOT IN ANY HURRY BECAUSE SHE HAS BEEN LIVING WITH DIFFERENT MEN SINCE WE SEPARATED, BUT I WOULD LIKE TO BE SURE THAT I AM LEGALLY DIVORCED SO THAT I CAN GET ON WITH MY LIFE, AND FINANCES ARE TIGHT SO A LOWER CHILD SUPPORT FIGURE WOULD BE NICE. WE HAVE 50/50 CUSTODY.
You would normally expect the attorney to start right away and to tie up any loose ends within a couple of weeks. What is the explanation for the delay?
AT FIRST I COULDN'T GET A STRAIT ANSWER, AND THAT HAS BEEN THE WAY OF THINGS THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE DIVORCE PROCESS, WHICH TOOK 9 MONTHS, BUT TODAY MY ATTORNEY'S STAFF MEMBER STATED THAT THE ATTORNEY FOR MY EX STATES THAT SHE REFUSES TO SIGN THE COPY OF THE DIVORCE DECREE AND WANTS IT REWORDED. I PERSONALLY THINK THAT'S ALOT OF WHOOEY BALONEY, BUT I DON'T KNOW IF I HAVE ANY RECOURSE.
There are two ways that a divorce can be finalized--through agreement of the parties, or by order of the court. If your spouse has become uncooperative, your attorney's option is to just take it to court. I would recommend letting him know that four months has been long enough and you need to get on with your life--either get it settled in the next week, or get a court date on the calendar.
SO IN THE FINAL COURT HEARING WHEN THE JUDGE HAD US SWEAR THAT WE WERE AWARE OF THE AGREEMENT SETTLED ON BY BOTH PARTIES, AND HE DECLARED US DIVORCED, THEN THAT WAS NOT FINAL. WE HAVE ALREADY BEEN TO COURT, AND IT WAS SUPPOSEDLY THE FINAL DIVORCE HEARING!!!
The court's order is final, but I was speaking in the procedural sense, not the legal sense.
The court makes its order in court, and the judgment then has to be executed. If a party won't cooperate with the execution, you can take it to the judge who will do it for them.
SO I SHOULD TELL MY ATTORNEY THAT I WANT ANOTHER COURT HEARING BEFORE THE JUDGE TO GET AN ORDER TO FINALIZE THIS PROCEDURE, SO THAT I DON'T HAVE TO WAIT ON MY EX-WIFE'S ATTORNEY, OR MINE TO GET THINGS DONE. I PAID THE WHOLE AMOUNT UP FRONT AND I FEEL THAT BECAUSE OF THAT MY ATTORNEY HASN'T EXACTLY ACTED IN MY INTERESTS EITHER.
The options are to get the other side to sign, to get the court to effectuate it, or to do nothing. Which choice you make and how to approach it is your decision. Personally, I would just tell my attorney that I'm tired of waiting and ask to take it back into court if necessary.
I HAVE BEEN TOLD BY MANY DISATISFIED CLIENTS OF MY ATTORNEY THAT SHE IS VERY TARDY IN GETTING THINGS FINALIZED SO THAT SHE CAN CHARGE MORE. CAN SHE CHARGE ME MORE TO GO BACK TO COURT, EVEN THOUGH SHE HAS NOT ACTUALLY FINALIZED THIS CASE?
If the other party won't sign, that's not your attorney's fault, right? Your attorney can't charge for extra charges she creates due to her own procrastination, but if the other side won't sign, there would be those extra costs regardless of whether you went back to court sooner or later.
ACCORDING TO MY EX. SHE STATES THAT SHE HAS DONE EVERYTHING SHE NEEDED TO. I DON'T KNOW WHO TO BELIEVE, BECAUSE MY ATTORNEY DIDN'T DO ANYTHING SHE STATED SHE'D DO THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE PROCESS, AND MY EX STATES THAT IT'S MY ATTORNEY'S DELAY, BUT HER STAFF STATE THE OPPOSITE. HOW DO I GET TO THE BOTTOM OF THE TRUTH. SO FAR SINCE THE FINAL HEARING, I HAVE RECEIVED NO FURTHER PAPERWORK FROM MY ATTORNEY, AND BECAUSE OF MANY MISTAKES IN PAPERWORK, LACK OF PERFORMANCE AND SUCH, I WONDER HOW MUCH SHE IS PRESSING TO GET THIS FINALIZED.
Why doesn't her attorney just draft the papers? There's no requirement that your attorney do it. It doesn't matter who drafts it--what matters is what it says and that it's signed.
WELL THAT IS WHAT I HAVE BEEN EXPECTING. MY ATTORNEY STATES THAT SHE IS WAITING ON THE PAPERS FROM MY EX'S ATTORNEY TO FILE THE DECREE. MY EX STATES THAT HER ATTORNEY HAS DONE EVERYTHING. CAN I JUST CALL MY EX'S ATTORNEY TO FIND OUT WHERE THINGS STAND, OR IS THAT NOT ALLOWED. I JUST WANT WHAT THE JUDGE DECLARED IN COURT TYPED UP AND FILED, AND THAT SUPPOSEDLY INCLUDES NEW FIGURES FOR CHILD SUPPORT. MAYBE THAT IS WHAT MY EX IS FIGHTING, I DON'T KNOW BUT IT SOUNDS LIKE MAYBE I COULD JUST ASK FOR HER ATTORNEY TO TYPE IT UP, GET IT SIGNED, AND FILE IT, RIGHT?
Your ex's attorney is not allowed to speak to you directly without permission from your attorney, but she can certainly ask her attorney to type it up, get it signed, and file it if it is true that she isn't the problem.
Did you have any other questions?
YES, BUT I DON'T KNOW IF YOU CAN EFFECTIVELY ANSWER MY QUESTIONS WITHOUT , bvout MORE EXTENSIVE BACKGROUND INFORMATION ABOUT ALL MISTAKES MADE THROUGHOUT THE COURSE OF THIS DIVORCE SUCH AS: SENDING A WRIT OF ASSISTANCE WITH THE WRONG NAME ON IT, NOW BEING THERE TO REPRESENT ME IN THE CUSTODY HEARING SO THAT SHE COULD EFFECTIVELY EXPLAIN WHY WE FILED A WRIT OF ASSISTANCE AND CONTINUALLY PUTTING THE WRONG NAMES ON ALL THE PAPERWORK, MISTYPING ORDERS SO THAT MY EX WAS ABLE TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE MISTYPING AND BREAK INTO THE HOUSE AND DUE TO THE ERROR COULD HAVE HAD ME REMOVED HAD I NOT ALLOWED HER TO TAKE EVERYTHING SHE WANTED. MY ATTORNEY DIDN'T GET AN ORDER TO HAVE MY EX PSYCH EVALUATED FOR DEPRESSION, LIKE SHE STATED SHE WOULD, AND MY EX HAD THREATENED SUICIDE SEVERAL TIMES IN THE DAYS PRECEEDING THE SEPARATION, AND MANY OTHER FAILLURES TO PERFORM. I JUST DO NOT KNOW WHAT I CAN DO AND CAN'T.
I MISTYPED IN MY HURRY TO GET BACK TO YOU, AND HAD A PHONE CALL IN THE PROCESS, SO I APOLOGIZE. I WILL CHECK BACK TOMORROW MORNING TO FURTHER CHAT ON THIS SUBJECT AND IMPROVE MY RATING WHEN I FEEL SATISFIED. THANK YOU.
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