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My ex-wife and I have joint legal and physical custody of my 4 year old son. He spends half the week at his mom's and half the week with me. Due to our work situation my mom babysits our child for us and charges us the same amount as the child support. My ex wife and I have been ok with this arrangement as it offers convenient and flexible hours. The child support payments are given by me to my mother, my ex-wife is aware of that and knows the exact amounts given.
My former father-in-law, a former attorney, has filed a lawsuit with the county clerk stating that he's representing my son (ad-litem, whatever that means) and stating that I haven't paid a dime of child support. My ex-wife is stating that this is false, and she's even willing to say that he's lying. For the time being I'm going to have to get an attorney and go to court for something that we both consider absurd. On top of all, he wants me to pay attorney's fees, court's fees and "reasonable fees" awarded to him.
Thank you for your follow-up, Joshua.In this situation I am then unclear as to what role, if any, the ex father-in-law plays in the care for the child. While he can act as a "guardian ad litem" (G.A.L.), which is essentially a third party representative on behalf of the child, he himself cannot make any legal decisions. Furthermore, his G.A.L. petition must be accepted and approved by the courts, he cannot simply file without you or your ex-wife being able to contest it in court. It does appear that he is simply attempting to be malicious and unreasonable--in this situation obtaining counsel to contest him and the remove him as a G.A.L. You may also consider contacting the county bar association and filing a grievance against him for filing what appears to be a frivolous and an unethical suit since he is a third party and has no direct or inherent rights to the child. "Reasonable fees" and so forth are not something he can demand in family law, I am frankly trying to understand how and why this cause of action was even allowed to go this long against you.Good luck.
That's exactly what I thought. Now just a final question. If he indeed applies for G.A.L, can his previous criminal records make him ineligible? He pleaded guilty to a theft charge brought against him two years ago and he was convicted (also the reason he lost his license to practice) He is currently on probation until they can complete the sentencing.
At this point, I don't feel comfortable with my child even being around him, and I seriously feel harassed by his text messages, emails and calls.
Thank you for your follow-up, Joshua.If he lost his license to practice, then he is no longer an attorney. It also means that he cannot sue you for his legal fees and compensation as that would be 'unauthorized practice of law'--he is not an attorney and cannot collect fees. Contacting the bar association is key here. You can also bring forth his criminality and attempt to impeach him on the basis of unfitness and in this potential fraud and a material omission to the courts. Furthermore, letting him know to leave you alone and then pursuing a restraining order against him on behalf of yourself and your child may also be wise--discuss it with your ex first, explain your reasoning, and then pursue it.Good luck.
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