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Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 37492
Experience:  Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.
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I was legally divorced in Oct., 2012 in Louisiana but we are

Customer Question

I was legally divorced in Oct., 2012 in Louisiana but we are still pending child custody and property settlement. I am not happy with the results of my current attorney. I previously hired my first attorney and let him go and hired a new attorney. The new attorney admitted my first attorney did make mistakes or not handle my case well. He agreed to take on my case but let it be known he is not going to address the mistakes of my first attorney but move forward (didn't want to throw his friend under the bus) literally is what he stated to me. This town in Louisiana is small and close knit working relationship with attorneys, judges, etc. I am dealing with my ex whose family is very wealthy and has unlimited funds. I have already paid out $40,000 and the only thing resolved after 20 months is the divorce.

I have the following questions:

1) Child custody issue. We had a mental health report conducted and the results were very negative against my ex-husband. In the report it stated he was uncooperative, smelled of drugs, and the report went on. In the aspect scoring test part we scored a 70pt difference and when I looked up what the scoring meant. It stated that If there was a difference of 10% of more between the parents, the higher scoring parent should possibly seek "sole custody". I was the higher scoring parent. In the last paragraph of the report, the mental health therapist suggested to increase visitation for my ex where my son would go Thurs-Mon morning and Wed. overnight every other week but stated that my son would probably regress. I was against this suggestion and based on the scoring and valuation wanted my attorney to negotiate with my ex attorney and suggested they contact the mental health therapist and the child counselor who did not agree with the suggestion. My attorney (both of them my past one and my one I have now never did that). I was bullied to accept the recommendation to get the ball rolling. There is a six month child interim custody order based on the recommendation. I actually got to speak to the mental health therapist by accident when I went to her office to pick up a copy of the last page of the report and asked her why the increase in visitation and she stated that my attorney said they would negotiate (which never happened and he insisted I accept what was written in the report). Based on the scoring and the report I should have had a chance to request change in visitation. They incorporated it and changed up the wording (I was not aware of) where previously it said I would be domicile parent and changed to interim domicile parent. My ex is now trying to become domicile parent due to financial monies given to my son. What can I do to protect myself when it goes to court in Nov. and/or can I hold my attorney for allowing this to happen?

Second question: There was a company established (oil and gas) and is "joint property". When my ex filed for divorce, he immediately conveyed over to our son (who was 3 years old at the time) all the oil and gas wells in his name. I knew nothing about this under December of 2012 and provided my attorneys (both of them) this information. On the conveyances, it stated my son as single male and listed his permanent resident address which is my ex-father-in-law's. His grandfather has filed a tax return on behalf of my son. Isn't this illegal and fraud. His grandfather has no guardianship privileges and I am suppose to file a tax return this year but can't unless I know what monies they are showing my now 5 year old is making. Is the act of hiding monies and conveying ownership to my son only (minor child) illegal and criminal?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your question. Please permit me to assist you with both of your concerns.

I appreciate the background information as it provides me a good basis from which to specialize my response. I am likewise sorry to hear that you have had such trouble with your attorneys in the past.

You asked:
1) Child custody issue. We had a mental health report conducted and the results were very negative against my ex-husband. In the report it stated he was uncooperative, smelled of drugs, and the report went on. In the aspect scoring test part we scored a 70pt difference and when I looked up what the scoring meant. It stated that If there was a difference of 10% of more between the parents, the higher scoring parent should possibly seek "sole custody". I was the higher scoring parent. In the last paragraph of the report, the mental health therapist suggested to increase visitation for my ex where my son would go Thurs-Mon morning and Wed. overnight every other week but stated that my son would probably regress. I was against this suggestion and based on the scoring and valuation wanted my attorney to negotiate with my ex attorney and suggested they contact the mental health therapist and the child counselor who did not agree with the suggestion. My attorney (both of them my past one and my one I have now never did that). I was bullied to accept the recommendation to get the ball rolling. There is a six month child interim custody order based on the recommendation. I actually got to speak to the mental health therapist by accident when I went to her office to pick up a copy of the last page of the report and asked her why the increase in visitation and she stated that my attorney said they would negotiate (which never happened and he insisted I accept what was written in the report). Based on the scoring and the report I should have had a chance to request change in visitation. They incorporated it and changed up the wording (I was not aware of) where previously it said I would be domicile parent and changed to interim domicile parent. My ex is now trying to become domicile parent due to financial monies given to my son. What can I do to protect myself when it goes to court in Nov. and/or can I hold my attorney for allowing this to happen?
That appears to be a very legitimate error and voersight by your attorneys, both of them. Regardless of how small or large this town may be, a duty that an attorney owes you has to be based on zealous representation of your interests, which means that the attorney has to look out for you and not simply make promises that aren't kept, especially as that directly affected your custodial issue. Consider contacting the county bar association and formally filing a grievance against the attorneys, especially the second attorney, via the disciplinary board. While I cannot guarantee that they will pursue this, going purely by your facts this appears to be legal malpractice. Until then you need to consider retaining new counsel if you can, and potentially outside the district. You would also want to maintain copious notes of your interaction with the ex, your child's interaction, and potentially get the mental health professional to testify on your behalf as an expert witness.

Second question: There was a company established (oil and gas) and is "joint property". When my ex filed for divorce, he immediately conveyed over to our son (who was 3 years old at the time) all the oil and gas wells in his name. I knew nothing about this under December of 2012 and provided my attorneys (both of them) this information. On the conveyances, it stated my son as single male and listed his permanent resident address which is my ex-father-in-law's. His grandfather has filed a tax return on behalf of my son. Isn't this illegal and fraud. His grandfather has no guardianship privileges and I am suppose to file a tax return this year but can't unless I know what monies they are showing my now 5 year old is making. Is the act of hiding monies and conveying ownership to my son only (minor child) illegal and criminal?
This is indeed a fraudulent transaction. The fact it was put under the son is not quite the issue, the issue is that asset that was jointly held was taken away from you without consent. The act of transferring assets away from you and hiding it is indeed a potential criminal violation. In addition you should be able to fight the transfer and reverse it due to fraud and forgery.

Good luck.

 

Customer: replied 1 year ago.


I have no other monies to retain another attorney. I've already spent $40,000. Plus, unless I get someone who is aggressive and strong, it will look I'm crazy for firing two attorneys already.


 


Could I go to the Judge and show him documents/proof of what has transpired or someone like DA office?

Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Pam,

Thank you for your follow-up. The judge is not gong to rule on what he will see as an internal issue. By that I mean, the judge will see it as your attorneys and their screw-up under your agency, which means that it is up to you to pursue them, discipline them, or otherwise seek recourse. Furthermore, in an additionally unfair twist, since they were hired by you, you remain responsible for all their errors, their actions or in-actions, and the judge will not make a decision. Further, this isn't a criminal case, it is not something the DA will review other than for the fraud concern--that I can see them pursuing if they find enough grounds.

Good luck.

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