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AlexiaEsq., Managing Attorney
Category: Family Law
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Experience:  19+ Years of Legal Practice in Family law matters.
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I am a financial advisor assisting a female client her divorce.

Resolved Question:

I am a financial advisor assisting a female client her divorce. I came into the case late. It appears as though they have already gone through an arbitration hearing...but, there are a few components of the divorce decree that are not in her best interest. And her lawyer is worthless, at best. I want her to fire her lawyer, get a good one, and go back and fix the few problems that remain. I don't know how binding the "binding" arbitration is...if it is in fact. Any suggestions?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  AlexiaEsq. replied 8 years ago.

Dear braynfaz,


Thank you for your question and I look forward to assisting you. Please keep in mind that I can only respond to your post and the information contained in it, as I do not know what you know unless you describe it fully. Also, oftentimes there are future facts that are as yet undetermined in your matter, that can and must leave some areas of information provided by me broad in nature. However, don't hesitate to ask for clarification if needed! At times, there can also be a delay of an hour or more in between my answers because I may be helping other customers or taking a break. That being said...


She needs to look at her arbitration award and determine if it is binding or non-binding. However, you mention "divorce decree", which indicates that it is already made an order of the court incorporated into the divorce judgment. That being said, depending on the issue, some items are modifyable under certain circumstances and some not. The fact that something is not in her very best interest will not be the determining factor, however, as the results of divorce are generally, by nature, far from either party's best interest - and it is usually a significant compromise by each. Rather, if circumstances have changed significantly enough, that can be the most promising grounds for a modification - i.e. child support will change if either party's respective income changes substantially. Also, if she can establish that the ex was less than truthful in his disclosures on assets or liabilities, thus impacting distribution of assets, she may have an argument for modifying the distribution. Custody modifications are also fair game, based generally on the best interests of the child.


If her lawyer was less than vigorous in her behalf, I would seek counsel elsewhere, as you suggest. In addition, if he/she was actually poor/incompetent, she may want to consider filing a complaint with the state bar/ethics board.


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Customer: replied 8 years ago.

Your description of her lawyer as "less than vigorous" is very close. He also agreed to things at the arbitration and at other times without consulting her. And, failied to entertain or address various issues she'd mention. I've never seen a worse outcome of a wife who is a social worker married to a trauma doctor as it relates to a divorce settlement.

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