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Steven  K.
Steven K., Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 2332
Experience:  I have practiced family law since 1996, focusing on child custody and domestic violence
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I will only accept a response from a family lawyer in CA,

Customer Question

I will only accept a response from a family lawyer in CA, preferably in the L.A. area due to complication of this question/case. 5 yrs ago my husband of 25 yrs ended our marriage. I learned he'd been leading a double life for our entire marriage, having sex with hundreds of women he'd meet on sex lines - this one part of unknown "double" life. He is a non practicing attorney in CA (L.A.) who sometimes wrote with me, I'm a writer (novels, plays). I have severe Rheumatoid Arthritis, a degenerative autoimmune disease with no cure. I'm 63. I had RA when I married Jeff (the husband). Jeff stole - literally - probably half a million dollars from me during and after our marriage - won't go into that at the moment. We initially went into mediation - the mediator, the expensive divorce lawyer I hired after that, every attorney whose been involved over 5 yrs said Jeff would owe me spousal support/alimony for the rest of my life. As my RA can make it impossible for me to write, and due to my age, the alimony is crucial for me - which Jeff knows. Mediation 5 yrs ago resulted in division of our Intellectual Properties, filed with lit agency and court. I received the majority of properties as I wrote them alone, other lesser properties we split 50-50%. Shortly thereafter Jeff created a fraudulent "new" intellectual properties contract., giving him 50% of ALL my properties. I KNEW NOTHING ABOUT THIS. Jeff FORGED MY SIGNATURE, as well as FORGING A NOTARY IN MASS (I haven't been to Mass, Jeff's family owns a home there) who signed that he'd witnessed my signature. Jeff sent the contract to the lit agency who accepted it as legit. For the next FOUR YRS unbeknownst to me Jeff was paid 50% of my earning - guesstimate $50,000. I only caught this by chance, queried the lit agency and learned of this fraudulent contract. As I'm broke, I got a pro bono lawyer who got the lit agency to return to the LEGAL contract. However, Jeff has not repaid me the $50,000 in my royalties he stole. The money he stole is the money I would us to hire an attorney to sue him - ironic. No pro bono lawyer will take it on (I tried) - Jeff is clearly psychotic, but a brilliant lawyer. I hired an expensive divorce lawyer in L.A. when Jeff walked out on mediation, spent a small fortune, filed for legal separation. Over time I moved to TN. I had no money to hire a divorce lawyer to go up against Jeff, and a pro bono or inexpensive lawyer would not get me the alimony I deserve and desperately need. I got very ill, which Jeff knew. He kept calling me to court in L.A. knowing I had neither the health nor the money to get there (this is exactly why he did it). The court told me to have my doc send a letter re my health, inability to travel to CA, which I did. Every time Jeff called me to court (always for no reason, except a "paper trail" making him look compliant) I had the medical letter sent to court. Also no way to afford flight, staying in L.A. etc. No one ever told me I can any other options. Since Jeff had not signed the separation papers (to avoid spousal support) I planned to sue him for divorce in TN where I live. then I could be in court, afford the divorce, and benefit from the divorce lawyers which consider the "victim" as CA does not. Though I'd received legal papers at my address in TN numerous times from the court in L.A. and from Jeff, papers began going to fraudulent or former addresses (I only learned this after the fact). I did everything to find out where my case stood in L.A. - had a lawyer check, wrote, called, emailed the court, the judge, Jeff and Jeff's lawyer. No response and I was told no no record of my "separation". But somehow in a short window, my husband managed to have legal paperwork sent to bogus addresses so that I knew nothing, got the case changed to divorce, got me labeled "non-compliant", and A LEGAL FORM HAD CHECKED OFF THAT NEITHER PARTY WANTED SPOUSAL SUPPORT OR ALIMONY!!! I am devastated, I have no idea how this is possible. Was told Jeff's lawyer had six months to file paperwork, had not done so yet. Evidently I have three months to file a response asking for this to be overturned (because I was not informed of the hearing, among other things!). But L.A. lawyer said I can't do this myself, it's complicated, I need a savvy lawyer. I was quoted a $10,000. retainer. Don't believe any pro bono lawyer could outsmart Jeff but even if I could find someone to take this on, I am NOT in L.A. no way to get there, everyone I've contacted said I must come in to the office, must be there. If I had a lawyer to take this on QUICKLY (the only option) I could perhaps borrow the money to get to L.A. But I have no lawyer. I have checked with pro bono, etc. etc. No one seems willing/able to help. I desperately need the alimony I deserve. I'm about to have serious surgery, would then be immobile. Jeff knows very well how desperately I need alimony. My window of possible fighting this gross injustice is very small. What can I do???
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Steven K. replied 8 months ago.
I practiced in Los Angeles county fit nine years but I am no longer in California. Would you like a response from me or do you prefer to wait for an attorney who is currently practicing in California?
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
It's difficult to say since I don't know how specifically helpful your answer will be. I'd really like to consult with an attorney in CA as the laws are so different everywhere... but if you feel you can help me and have prepared an answer... unary to make decision with lack of knowledge... Thanks. Let me know.
Expert:  Steven K. replied 8 months ago.

The first thing we have to figure out is how you will "appear" in court if you file something. Some courts allow appearance via telephone. In what district of Los Angeles County is your court proceeding?