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Tom B.
Tom B., Barrister & Solicitor
Category: Canada Law
Satisfied Customers: 2263
Experience:  25 years in practice
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I have been dealing with a family law lawyer for 2 years My

Customer Question

I have been dealing with a family law lawyer for 2 years
My husband and I have done a financial disclosure
When he left me, ( after 44 year marriage) he outlined a "friendly proposal" in which all our assets would remain " as is" , but we would live apart.
My son convinced my husband that selling our matrimonial home would free up some cash
Six years ago we handed our business over to our din
Until now we were living from money that my son was giving us from profits of the company
This was a situation that could not continue in the long term
We have valuable assets in Canada and in Europe
Up until May 2016, I thought we could reconcile so most of my legal bills were a total waste of money
My lawyer agreed , in spite of my doubts, that we could live with this friendly separation idea
My lawyer was in favour of mediation as opposed to going to court
But she presented me with no options
I told her many times that I did not understand finance and that I was relying on her expertise
My lawyer hired a valuator, Our meetings consisted of my lawyer, her legal assistant, the valuation and myself. There was no proposal or plan of action
My lawyer was recommended to me by another lawyer . I trusted her and didn't know what to expect.
I started to get nervous when the bills were mounting up, I couldn't u derby and what was being done, and my lawyer was absent for long stretches of time either on holidays or long court sessions out of town
At one point, I was so frustrated that I sought a 2 hour consultation with a lawyer at Epstein Cole
In direct contrast to my lawyer, this lawyer instantly stArted to examine the numbers, discussed the finances and she stressed the importance of my understanding g the numbers
After this meeting, I still went back to my lawyer afraid to take the step of firing her
In October 2016 I asked two of my friends who happen to be chartered accountants to look at the whole file
They did me an enormous favour and spent many hours examining my situation
They were stunned that my lawyer had agreed to the friendly separation, which they felt would put me in a definitely bad financial situation in the future
Even my son started to think that this lawyer was not doing her best for me
We actually had a first mediation with a mediator ( cost 9 thousand for the day) but since we had absolutely no offer on the table , the meeting ended at 1 pm
We scheduled a meeting and my two friends attended the meeting. My son also sat with us
My friends suggested that I keep the Canadian assets, including the matrimonial home and my husband would keep the Europesn ones
Everyone agreed that this would be an equal and fair division of assets
It also freed my son of the burden of supporting us
A second mediation was scheduled but my team still had no written proposal
The mediator was obviously frustrated and voiced his concerns
The meeting ended early
With my friends' input, my lawyer came up with a first draft proposal, I did not sign it because I felt that there were still too many unanswered questions
But we presented the unsigned proposal to my husband anyway. He and his lawyer rejected the whole offer
No explanation was given
Then it was Christmas holidays and everything was on hold
My son couldn't understand why my husband and I were so apart and why my lawyer did not try to convince him and his lawyer that this proposal was good for both of us
My friends, my son and I were starting to have serious doubts about my lawyers competence and her lack of vision
So now I face a third mediation and I'm not sure if there is any point. I am seriously considering retaining a different lawyer and I'm also wondering why I have paid over 80 thousand dollars for very little serious legal work
The question is this
Do I let my lawyer know how I feel?
Do I talj to the head of my lawyers law firm?
Do I talk to the mediator?
Do I seek advice from another lawyer?
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Canada Law
Expert:  Debra replied 7 months ago.

Hello! My name is***** you for your question. I'm reviewing it now, and will post back again shortly.

Expert:  Debra replied 7 months ago.

How long have you been separated for?

What province is this please?

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Official separation May 1,2016
Expert:  Debra replied 7 months ago.

What do you mean when you say official separation?

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
You're the lawyer
How can you ask such a question?
Obviously this is a scam! And I fell for it!

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