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socrateaser
socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 34633
Experience:  Retired (mostly)
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6/29/2013 to askalawyer.com: Hello there, 2 questions please... we

Customer Question

6/29/2013 to askalawyer.com:

Hello there, 2 questions please...
we do not have an attorney and are a hard-working, full-time-jobs husband & wife. the ex-wife was in a fire as a child & now has millions of $$ as a result. this means anytime the 2 don't agree, here we go to court again. she has a strong attorney, but we do not have one.
1) we thought when there are 2 attorneys, they discuss options of a court date together and decide on one together... is this correct? court dates have been getting set w/o our involvement & they are always dates my husband works... when there are other days during the week that he is off & wouldn't risk issues at work from continuing to take off. if attys normally decide on dates together, shouldn't we be expecting that the attorney would afford us the same courtesy even though we dont' have an attorney? If so, how can this be handled/worded to the atty so that we can be involved in deciding on a time which works?
2) the matter involves my husband and his ex-wife, but i transport the kids to/from school & day care alot as well. (that is what this matter is about, btw... trying to get a judge to rule that we have to drive the child (who did not pass 7th grade) to summer school 45 miles away each-way during hours we work... and she does not work (never has)... when there are other options. so this court session affects me too. w/o us having an atty, am i allowed to speak in court if i am not on the suit? if so, how does my husband handle that in the court so that i can speak?
do you have any other suggestions for us regarding the matter mentioned?
we thank you for your time and your service on this website. everytime this happens, we are filled with fear and feel hopeless as to what the outcome will be. sincerely, cindy
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  socrateaser replied 1 year ago.
Hello,

You ask:

1) we thought when there are 2 attorneys, they discuss options of a court date together and decide on one together... is this correct?

A: Attorneys are required to "meet and confer," before asking the court to resolve a dispute. However, if negotiation is futile, then the next step is to have the court decide.

court dates have been getting set w/o our involvement & they are always dates my husband works... when there are other days during the week that he is off & wouldn't risk issues at work from continuing to take off. if attys normally decide on dates together, shouldn't we be expecting that the attorney would afford us the same courtesy even though we dont' have an attorney?

A: Yes, but you will never get tht courtesy, because it's not a rule of court. It's just a courtesy that attorneys accord each other, so that they can manage their case load. The same applies to the court. The judge has a calender, and he/she will fill it with cases as they arise. If the judge were to prefer party employment schedules to the court's, there would be few hearings, because most laypersons work at least 5 days per week, on the same days that court is in session.

If so, how can this be handled/worded to the atty so that we can be involved in deciding on a time which works?

A: You can send a letter to opposing counse detailing your schedule. However, I wouldn't count on getting any accommodation. In fact, if the attorney is a real a**, he/she may try to schedule things precisely when you say you are unavailable.

2) the matter involves my husband and his ex-wife, but i transport the kids to/from school & day care alot as well. (that is what this matter is about, btw... trying to get a judge to rule that we have to drive the child (who did not pass 7th grade) to summer school 45 miles away each-way during hours we work... and she does not work (never has)... when there are other options. so this court session affects me too. w/o us having an atty, am i allowed to speak in court if i am not on the suit?

A: You can be called to testify by your husband as a witness. You cannot speak, other than while testifying, because that would be the unauthorized practice of law. I realize that the case affects you, however, you are not a party, and you can't be a party, because you have no legal standing in the court's eyes -- since the child is not yours.

if so, how does my husband handle that in the court so that i can speak?

A: He would have to call you as a witness.

do you have any other suggestions for us regarding the matter mentioned?

A: Your husband must testify that he must work, and driving the child is simply impossible. Ideally, you would want the child enrolled in school close to you -- which may still be possible. Check with your local middle school, and if the school would allow the child to attend, then you will have to subpoena the school administrator to testify at your hearing.

we thank you for your time and your service on this website. everytime this happens, we are filled with fear and feel hopeless as to what the outcome will be. sincerely, cindy

A: Divorce with children is always bad -- there are no good outcomes, in my experience -- just some outcomes that are not as bad as others.

Hope this helps.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

thank you... yes, it helps. i just wish it were more favorable news for us, you know? is there anything you can suggest us to say to the judge - on our behalf in this matter? it is a frivilous case and you'd think it should clearly be decided that if she's insisting on him going when he can simply make up the one class next year... that she be the one to take him to the summer school... especially since she does not work. seems kind of simple to me, but then... all the other cases have been too... but in some VERY ODD way, the decisions keep going in her favor... its almost like there's something else at work here. very strange. so we never feel very helpful. :(

Expert:  socrateaser replied 1 year ago.
I realize that from your perspective, the matter is frivolous. However, were I the judge hearing the matter, I would find that there is a genuine issue of material fact in dispute, and I would want to know about how it could be equitably/fairly resolved.

The suggestions that I previously made are what I would do were I representing you in court. You need to show an alternative to driving 45 miles, one-way, because the judge is likely to decide that summer school is needed. If you cannot come up with an alternative -- then, as you have previously experienced, the decision may go against you.

Though, maybe I don't understand the entire picture. I'm assuming that you have custody of the children during summer. If so, then having you drive or find a local school makes complete sense. If you do not have custody, then it would be absurd to require you to drive 45 minutes to pick up a child and drive him/her to school -- in which case, your argument is very simple: "Your honor, requiring me to drive 45 miles to pick up the children and deliver them to a school local to the other parent, while I am also required to work to pay child support -- is a wholly frivolous demand. The obvious solution is for the parent who is closest and who does not work to deliver the children to school."

I'm thinking that you do have custody during summer and that's what is creating this dilemma. If true, then the solution is to find schooling local to you -- or home schooling.

And, if that's the solution, then you need to be able to bring that solution into court for the hearing so that the judge can decide in your favor immediately. Otherwise, you risk another loss.

Hope this helps.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

50/50 custody all year long. no child support involved. his school district does not do summer school & the other districts don't allow out-of-district students to attend... except for the one signed up for... it is the only one which does.

Expert:  socrateaser replied 1 year ago.
As a judge, my order would be to temporarily modify parenting (not custody) for the summer, so that the child could attend school locally without the long drive.

I'm not sure how you deal with this issue during the regular school year. Obviously, the kids don't go to two different schools simultaneously, so driving would be necessary, unless you have chosen a school at a half way point. Regardless, I'm extremely good at predicting legal outcomes, because I have a judicial temperament (I think like a judge). So, I'm willing to make a gentleperson's bet that the court will order what I've just suggested -- since it's the only thing that makes sense.

I realize this isn't a favorable outcome, but I don't see any alternative resolution, other than to take the child out of school, and no judge is likely to find that solution as being in the child's best interests.

Hope this helps.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

thanks very much. we only live a few miles apart from the mom so we all take the kids to the same schools during the whole school year. its only the summer school which is her issue... and i forgot to tell you... the summer school is only 2 weeks long. yup, that's what we have to go to court for.. because she insists on summer school rather than other options, but she is not willilng to take him to it for the 2 weeks while we work. sheesh. thanks for your help. sorry to ask questions about this; seems very silly to us to have to even ask about such things. thanks much, cindy


 

Expert:  socrateaser replied 1 year ago.
When you change the facts, the analysis changes. So, now you and the other parent live close to each other, but you don't want to be the one to drive the child to a school 45 miles away for only two weeks.

I would go into court and offer to pay for one half of the mother's mileage, in exchange for the mother's agreement to drive the child during the two weeks. And, I would make that offer before the hearing to opposing counsel.

In court, if it comes to that, I would argue to the judge that the mother has turned something which is practically inconsequential into a crisis, I would state that you attempted to offer the same resolution to opposing counsel outside of court, and that you were summarily refused, and mention to the court that the cost of limo service to and from our respective homes is probably less costly than mother's legal fees to prepare for and appear at this hearing -- which demonstrates that the true purpose of this hearing is punitive, and that the court should consider admonishing mother and her counsel for failing to reasonably cooperate over such a trivial issue.

Push back -- hard. I'd make opposing counsel look like a money grubbing moron for bringing this matter to the court.

Hope this helps.
socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 34633
Experience: Retired (mostly)
socrateaser and 4 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

thank you SO much. we will do exactly as you suggested. this makes so much sense. we appreciate you - thank you. have a very nice day, Cindy

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

My wife was communication with you on this issue. I would like to know if I need to open a new communication with you to pay another $40 please let us know as I have another question in regard to this.


 


A. In past court hearing I have been blindsided by additional demands not included in the motions filed. If my ex-wife and her team of lawyers raises an issue not on the motion does it have to be addressed or can I in some way state that this was not on the motion filed and therefore should not be addressed?


 

Expert:  socrateaser replied 1 year ago.
You can interrupt and say something like, "Your honor, I respectfully object to [petitioner/respondent; opposing counsel] raising an issue at this time which is entirely out of scope of the subject matter of the instant motion. I have had no time to prepare to fairly meet the issue being raise, and I ask that the court order [petitioner/respondent; opposing counsel] to bring a separate motion on this issue -- or at least file a supplemental declaration and points and authorities, so that I can do similarly in anticipation of a subsequent hearing."

Write it out on a 3X5 card, or into a word processor on your laptop and just read it, word for word.

Hope this helps.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Well I offered to pay mileage and then checked into the summer school and my son is not even eligible to attend as he does not meet the requirements.


 


I pointed this out in person to his mother and in a letter to the opposing counsel. They both without hesitation rejected what I said and stated we would still go to court on Monday.


 


My experience is the mother is not getting what she wants so she is trying to bully me with her team of lawyers.


 


In the past opposing counsel has attacked my character without any standing to sway the judge to side with them. I was caught of guard because it wasn't expected because they put on a front of absolute civility.


 


Is there anything I can if and when they do this.


 


Would it be beneficial to see the motion you are helping me with?

Expert:  socrateaser replied 1 year ago.

Well I offered to pay mileage and then checked into the summer school and my son is not even eligible to attend as he does not meet the requirements.


A: If your son is ineligible, then how can he be enrolled? Get a statement signed by a school official showing that after checking the school enrollment record, that there is no record of his enrollment. That would mean this entire hearing is frivolous, and you would be entitled to request sanctions against the other parent and her attorney for filing a frivolous document with the court.


Is there anything I can if and when they do this.

 

A: The only thing you can do is stay calm. If you don't allow yourself to get emotional, then opposing counsel will stop harassing you. You can say something like, "Your honor, opposing counsel is engaged in a personal attack against me. I would apprecate an order from the court admonishing opposing counsel to stick to arguing facts and law, rather than twisting the proceedings into a soap opera for the benefit of his client."

 

You need to show that you can hit back and make your opponent look like a moron.

 

If opposing counsel tries to rebut your request, just renew it, i.e.: "Your honor, I would still appreciate an instruction to opposing counsel, so that this hearing can remain civil."

 

Would it be beneficial to see the motion you are helping me with?

A: Maybe, but you'll have to open a new Q&A session, upload the document to www.mediafire.com, and provide a link in your next reply.

Hope this helps.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you so much for your answers. I feel much more prepared now to go into court with the information you have given.


 


Have a great 4th.

Expert:  socrateaser replied 1 year ago.
And a sparklin' Independence Day to you as well!

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I would like to ask you to review the motion. I tried to ask you a question directly but it says you are offline and it wont let me.


 


is there a way to send you a new question when your offline?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

If its pertinent information I have signed up for the monthly plan so payment is taken care of.

Expert:  socrateaser replied 1 year ago.
Regardless of your plan, I am only paid when you either rate an answer or provide a tip/bonus.

Hope this helps.

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