Family Law Questions? Ask a Family Lawyer Online.
For PaulMJD My wife and I have been separated for 3 years pursuant to a divorce. She is the Petitioner, and there are no children, however she has severe mental problems and has frustrated any progress toward finalizing this relationship; primarily by exhibiting extreme passive aggressive behavior. She was diagnosed with Dementia by a Forensic Psychologist PhD in 1999 pursuant to being awarded SSI benefits which she did receive and continues to receive today. Her attorney refuses to acknowledge that she has any mental problems. Her neurologist, who is also a psychiatrist, told me in March of 2010, that she suffers from Acute Psychotic Disorder and offered to put her in the Psychiatric ward of a local hospital, but I did not want her locked up, which was a huge mistake on my part. She was allowed, by mutual verbal agreement, to occupy the marital home. The agreement was that she would pay the mortgage and other costs associated with the home. Now she has not paid the mortgage which was due on August 1st, and it is not because she does not have the money. She has been hiding from her attorney and me for the last 30 days. She does not answer the phone or come to the door when she is obviously home. Since she is unquestionably nuts, my concern is that the home will go into foreclosure, costing us the only real asset in which I will have any participation. (She took the joint funds in our bank account, closed it and moved the monies to a separate account just before she filed the divorce.) I do not have any money and I believe she feels if she can hold out long enough, I will die, (I am 72), and she will get everything by default. I believe she has finally completely lost her mind and will not make the mortgage payments regardless of what happens and I cannot afford to make them. If that happens, I only have about 90 days or so before foreclosure proceedings would begin. I need to get her out of the home and get it on the market ASAP. My concern is that I will have to file a Motion for an order to remove her,and put it on the market. The last and only motion I filed was 7 weeks ago, and the Judge has not acknowledged it in any way. I spoke to the Judge’s clerk who told me she had no idea when the judge would hold a hearing on it. On a motion to move her out, I do not have 2-3 months to wait for a hearing. Do you think this would qualify for an “emergency” hearing or whatever it is called? I will not be able to list the home without a court order and I need it now. Can you give me your opinion on what might be my best approach to get some action on this in a reasonable timeframe? The Consolidated Pre-Trial Order has been filed since the end of April. Her attorney listed as the only issue to be contested is whether or not she has Dementia. I have a copy of the Psychiatrist’s diagnosis. Sorry to be so verbose.
It will take a while to digest everything you sent me. I tried to subpoena the medical records that narrowly related to her mental state, with the alternative that the doctor would be required to appear in court and I got a nasty reply from their lawyers giving me a blistering rejection and basically telling me literally at least 10 reasons I could not do anything I attempted to do.
If I do subpoena them, I cannot pay for a transcriber to document a deposition and if they actually do appear in court, do I have to pay them for their time?
Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX be so uninformed.
Paul: I am sorry. I apparently misunderstood your answer when I accepted it earlier. When you talk aboutt an expedited hearing, are you speaking of a final hearing? What I am most interested in at present is getting her to live up to her obligation to pay the mortgage or move, in addition to allowing me access to the joint property in the home for the purpose of ascertaining what is there and what is missing. She claims several burglaries have occurred and items of joint property have been taken but she does not know specifically what they are. I filed a motion to gain access for that purpose 7 weeks ago and have heard nothing. I do not see how the judge can divide the joint property if she does not know what still exists. I cannot wait for 2-3 months to get an order from the judge to enforce her obligation to pay the mortgage or move out. That is what I need expedited. Also you mentioned I need some proof of pending foreclosure to ensure I can get an expedited hearing. She is defaulting on the notes. Isn't that proof that she is endangering a joint asset without waiting for the mortgage company to write me a threatening notice of foreclosure? This is waterfront property and a very nice home with a relatively low mortgage balance. I doubt the bank will hesitate to foreclose as soon as they possibly can and then it will be too late. I need to get an order to make her pay or move and I need it ASAP. What is my best option without going for a final hearing on the entire divorce which cannot be settled until the joint property is identified as I explain above.
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).