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Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 29282
Experience:  Attorney with experience in family law.
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I live in the state of CT and was divorced 36 months ago. As

Customer Question

Hi, I live in the state of CT and was divorced 36 months ago. As part of the separate agreement I was entitled to money in a QDRO. My ex-wife and her attorney delayed contacting the Attorney that was identified in the separate agreement to handle the QDRO. My ex-wife attorney made all kinds of excuses to execute the agreement. It has been 6 months since they received the papers to sign. They finally signed the document. It only happened because I sent her an email asking on what legal grounds was she delaying processing the QDRO.
I am a sick man with multiple medical issues. The stress of this entire ordeal caused me to have bypass surgery. My question is can I file a complaint with the CT bar association against my ex-wife lawyer? She discredits all divorce lawyers and I want to make sure she doesn't do this again to anyone else. How would the CT bar association look at this matter?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.


I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm very sorry to hear that this happened.

A lawyer's job is to vigorously represent the client, which in this case means your ex-wife. The only ethical obligation the attorney owes you as an opposing party is not to lie and provide false information. If your ex-wife told the lawyer that she didn't want the paperwork to go through, I'm sorry to say, she was doing her job. The behavior you've described may be unacceptable among laypeople, but it's not a violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct. Also, the Bar tends to realize that people are usually unhappy with the way opposing counsel handled their case, and complaints from the other party are not given the same consideration as complaints from a client. It's entirely possible that if you went to the bar with exactly what you said here, they would not do anything.

I apologize that this was probably not the Answer you were hoping to receive. However, it would be unfair to you and unprofessional of me were I to provide you with anything less than truthful and honest information. I hope you understand. Please rate my answer positively to ensure I am paid for the time I spent answering your question. If you are on a mobile device, you may need to scroll to the right. Thank you.

Good luck.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Well that is very disappointing. Several month ago I lost a case representing myself. I had to pay my ex-wife 30K out of my 401K. The female judge had 15 minutes before she started of a new case and ruled against me. She wouldn't even let me ask my ex-wife a question. The ruling had to do with paying for my daughter ballet and riding lessons which I couldn't afford because of medical expenses. If I had received the QDRO a couple of months after the divorce I could have set a side those funds to pay for those activities. I even offered to pay the expenses out of the sale of the house several years after my daughter graduates H.S. By not receiving the QDRO funds it cost me 40K in growth. Two questions; does this change your mind on filing a complaint against my ex-wife attorney. Also do you think I have case for an appeal based on them delaying the transfer of funds of the QDRO?
Expert:  Lucy, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

That unfortunately doesn't change my opinion. In a contentious divorce, the opposing lawyer isn't expected to help your case in any way, and if your wife wants to make things difficult for you, then she's just doing her job by agreeing.

You could have filed a cross-motion for contempt based on the fact that your wife had not completed the QDRO and given you the funds you were supposed to get. But if the judge erred in finding that you had the $30k to make the payment when you didn't, or abused discretion by failing to even let you argue your defense, that could be a grounds for appeal. It's not necessarily that she found against you when your wife hadn't done what she was supposed to - it's that their decision needs to be supported by the evidence, and she didn't let you introduce any.