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Ask Steven K. Your Own Question
Steven  K.
Steven K., Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 2363
Experience:  I have practiced family law since 1996, focusing on child custody and domestic violence
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I want to withdraw my potion custody modification.

Customer Question

I want to withdraw my potion for child custody modification. My ex and I have put together a written mutual agreement out of court My attorney will NOT get back to me and I'm tired of paying him for nothing. I live 410 miles from the court and cannot ask the clerk in person. How can I do this myself? I live in Sacramento, CA and the court is in Norwalk, CA.
JA: OK. The Family Lawyer will need to help you with this. Have you consulted a lawyer yet?
Customer: Yes
JA: What advice did they give you?
Customer: To let them write my agreement for me then have it signed by a judge. I don't want to do that.
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Family Lawyer should know?
Customer: My current Attorney has charged me for things that were never done.
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 Family Lawyer about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Steven K. replied 1 year ago.
The Court will not accept your agreement if your lawyer is representing you and doesn't sign off on it. You could file a motion to terminate your lawyer or you could report him to the state bar (or threaten to do so) for not returning your calls. He needs to sign and file a Substitution of Attorney (substituting you into the case) in order for you to represent yourself. Once you do that, you can each sign the agreement and submit it, by mail, to the Court for the Commissioner's signature. Do you have any other questions?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I need to withdraw my petition for modification of child custody, visitation, and child support. My Ex and I have come to an agreement and have written a detailed document about our parenting plan and child support that we have mutually agreed to. I live in Sacramento, CA. He lives in Norwalk, CA where the case is being handled. I'm approximately 410 miles away. My Attorney will NOT get back to me. I've given him instructions both verbally and by email to withdraw my petition and provide me with documentation that it was completed. The only person who will speak to me is the secretary of the firm and all she wants to discuss is my next bill, due at the end of the month. I'm very frustrated with this attorney and going over the documents he has already filed with the court, I've found many errors of great importance. I've also been charged for letters, calls and emails that never occurred. I won't keep leaving him voice mails or emails since I get charged for each and every one I send, regardless of whether or not he replies. I just need the quickest easiest way to cancel the upcoming mediation and court date asap. Thank you. Kara Holland
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
How can I make him file the withdraw? Maybe ask to have a partner of his do it instead?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He told me that the judge wouldn't accept our mutual agreement written by me. He said that the child support would have to satisfy CA law guidelines regardless of a mutual agreement. He would not submit my agreement unless I paid him to RE-WRITE the entire document.
Expert:  Steven K. replied 1 year ago.
Is the mediation through court mediation services or a private mediator?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Court
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I sent you a copy of the agreement that I wrote. I'm not sure if you received it or not.
Expert:  Steven K. replied 1 year ago.
You can call the mediation office at(###) ###-####to cancel the appointment or reschedule it. Were you court ordered to go? If so, I would just reschedule to buy time. In the meantime, I recommend filling in the Substitution of Attorney I linked you to and send it to the attorney with a demand to get it back and filed within a certain number of days, or you will report him to the State Bar. Then actually report him if he doesn't respond. You can also report him for the other things he did wrong. Another option is to attend mediation (you via phone) and use it to enter your agreement without your attorney's input. That's the only way I know of to get an order entered without your attorney's involvement. You cannot really withdraw your request for modification but you can abandon it. If this were an initial action you could dismiss it, but you can't dismiss a modification.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I think it's mandatory to attend mediation before a family court date. I had to complete an online mediation orientation and have to provide the certificate to them before or during the appointment. I would need my attorney to file a court call request which I never returned to them due to having an agreement with the father. Do you think its possible to request to work with one of my attorneys partners to complete my requests?
Expert:  Steven K. replied 1 year ago.
Yes, if they will work with you. You (if unrepresented) or your attorney should be able to call the Court and take the hearing off calendar.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My Ex and I were planning to just have our agreement notarized. I'm aware that it will not be a "legal" court order but we think it should be sufficient. If my attorney will submit what I've written to the judge, what are the chances it will be accepted and declared an order? Would my Ex have to attend the hearing to prove that he is in agreement or would a notarized signature suffice? What are your thoughts on that?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
How can I abandon my case? Does that mean to just not show up? If neither of us show up, what, if any, repercussions could I and/or my ex face?
Expert:  Steven K. replied 1 year ago.
Judges almost always accept agreed orders. (It has to be on the right forms or submitted from mediation, though.) Your ex would not have to attend the hearing if he signs the order. In fact, with an agreed order, you don't need a hearing at all. Yes, abandonment is not showing up. The only risk is that one of you will show up and continue with the case without the other person's involvement.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I appreciate your help. Have a great weekend.

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