Complex situation – need advice for tomorrow morning.
I am currently in the divorce
process with my wife (Let’s call her Sally) – we have been separated since last summer.
The primary issue that led to the divorce was a sudden “partying” lifestyle that she took on.
Long story short – because of Sally’s actions (that included leaving my-step children with me on weekends when went out partying), the father of my step children (Let’s call him John) is suing her for full-custody of my step-children.
I have a beautiful daughter with Sally (Let’s call my daughter Emma) – and we have come to an agreement on a shared parenting plan
for Emma – but our divorce is not final and so the papers are not signed.
John and I are using the same attorney – so she has detail on both cases. I am a key witness for John’s case. Our attorney told me that she wanted me to testify – but I told her I thought it was a conflict of interest. I thought she was respecting my wishes – but I JUST RECEIEVED a subpoena in the mail today!
(the hearing is tomorrow at 9:00AM!)
This case is in Indiana.
Now, I did NOT receive the letter via certified mail. (it was just sent via regular mail)
I would like to help John in his case, because I think the kids are better off with him – but I know Sally.
Sally is vindictive as hell. If I stand up there and testify that she stayed out all hours of the night and came home drunk – all chances of anything going amicably in our case is done. My guess is she will say that I lied …and am therefore not trustworthy – and therefore should not have shared custody…and then my case blows up and I have to fight for even shared custody. I don’t have the money to do that…and it would kill me to go that far back in the somewhat agreeable relationship that I have finally come to with Sally. If I take the stand and testify – she will forever remember that I “lied” as she will claim – and helped take her kids away from her. I am thinking about what is best for Emma and it is killing me.
So –1- From my understanding, a subpoena is not enforceable if it is not certified. Correct?
2- Please help me decide what to do here. I am trying to put what is best for Emma first.
If I take the stand I will tell the truth – and ruin any chance of a working relationship with Sally.
If I don’t – my lawyer is going to be angry – John is going to be angry (which I don’t want because he gives me access to my step kids).I have to decide TONIGHT with I am doing.Help(?)
JA: OK. The Lawyer will need to help you with this. Have you consulted a lawyer yet?
Customer: Not regarding this issue - I need advice TONIGHT
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should be aware of?
Customer: There's a lot of detail - but I think this covers the most important parts
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Lawyer about your situation and then connect you two.