Family Law

Family Law Questions? Ask a Family Lawyer Online.

Ask a Lawyer,
Get an Answer ASAP!

Family Law

I am in the middle of a divorce. My attorney verbally assured

Customer Question
I am in the middle...
I am in the middle of a divorce. My attorney verbally assured me on three separate occasions that my bill would be in the 4k range with a custody battle...I told ime I knew he could only estimate, but the last time I asked were we still in the ball park and he said yes, I found out when I receieved his bill 3 months later (he did not bill me from 6/11 to 1/12) that we had already gone 2k over the "final cost" he estimated and I still had not even gone near the divorce master or talked about property settlement. Also, this attorney failed to be aware of a point of law regarding mortgage deviations when we went to court. I asked him about it prior to court (because I had found it and wanted to be prepared to fight it) and he assured me my soon to be ex could not get a mortgage deviation even though the information on the domestics website indicated he could. The court gave it to him and informed my attorney that the "law changed several years ago". My attorney apologized and said we would appeal. That appeal cost me $2681 (after I asked him how much it would cost to appeal and he said "not much"). I make $14k a year as a substitute teacher. My bill is over 8k and we have only been before the divorce master once to discuss discovery, so I know a lot more is coming, and my ex is emotionally abusive and narcissistic...he will not settle as most normal people would. There is also custody involved for one child under the age of 18. I feel my attorney has not been straight with me, has not gotten me anything I could not have gotten alone. I am considering letting him go. Can a divorce like this be handled on my own? I am an intelligent woman with a college degree. Am I best off changing lawyers? How difficult is it to do that in the middle of a case. If I let my attorney go, would he have to give me all the documentation on the case? I am scared, but truly cannot afford to keep paying for what is not getting me anywhere. I am afraid by the time we are done, what he said would be a $4k case will be $12k (almost a year's salary for me)....we are already at $8k. I need the money from the equitable distribution to get back on my feet (I may have to re-train as I cannot seem to obtain a teaching position) and for retirement...I am 47 and was a stay at home mom most of the last 20 years...I have no retirement savings (and ex had little....entire marital estate is probably around $150k...and ex makes $140k a year)I talked my lawyer about the bill and the error that cost me $3k appeal, and all I got was another bill where he went back and found another $500 worth of emails to charge me for from many months earlier. Please help me to sort out my options. I am in York county Pennsylvania
Submitted: 5 years ago.Category: Family Law
Show More
Show Less
Ask Your Own Family Law Question
Answered in 9 minutes by:
3/1/2012
Family Lawyer: Ellen, Lawyer replied 5 years ago
Ellen
Ellen, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 36,715
Experience: 25 years of experience helping people like you.
Verified
Welcome to JustAnswer,

I am the expert that will be assisting you today. Thank you for your question.

If my answer is not clear to you or does not fully answer your question, please ask me for clarification by using the reply button..

Since you are not comfortable with the legal services you are receiving, you will want to retain new counsel. Once you have retained new counsel, your new attorney can obtain a copy of the file from your prior attorney.

Due to the disparity in your incomes, your new attorney can request temporary support for you during the pendency of the proceeding. Additionally a good litigator may be able to have your husband pay his fees. You will want to retain the best attorney that your husband's money can buy.

After your divorce is back on track with the new attorney, you can consider filing a malpractice action against your prior attorney.


I think this is what you wanted to know. Please use the REPLY button if you have any questions concerning my answer. Otherwise please click ACCEPT so that I am paid by the site for answering.
Ask Your Own Family Law Question
Customer reply replied 5 years ago

My attorney filed a paper for "marital claims" saying he was asking my ex to pay my attorneys fees "interim" and at "final".....but I never heard anything from it, and now he wants ME to pay him $6k now. In fact, he had to make some adjustments and was supposed to send me an amended bill but didn't and now added "finance charges". What is up with the marital claims and getting ex to pay? I am afraid to ask him any more questions because he charges me at least $20 per email and then often doesn't even answer they although he charged me to read them.

 

I am currently getting APL.

 

How difficult is it to change attorneys? I was told in this county I have to get his name removed from my case and another added. Also, what about representing myself? Is it doable? And will I get my records from him if I go that way? At this point I have to go before the divorce master again, then it is my understanding that she will make a recommendation for settlement, but either of us can push to a judge. My lawyer said that would "get expensive"...now considering the $8k he has already charged me, I am afraid to know what that means. I have in writing from my ex that if I do not "get reasonable" and do things his way, he will be happy to push that far and that he can better afford it. If he pushes there, I feel I will have no choice but to represent myself.

Family Lawyer: Ellen, Lawyer replied 5 years ago

I would not suggest representing yourself. I would suggest retaining the strongest possible attorney for the meeting with the divorce master. Having top-notch counsel may assist you in settling at that time.

The key to success in your situation is likely retaining competent counsel

Currently you have a lot of issues in the divorce that are not being resolved. This is costing you time and money. You need strong representation to bring this to a speedy conclusion

It is not typically difficult to change attorneys. Your new attorney will prepare a substitution of counsel and obtain all the paperwork from your prior attorney.

Here is a link to a free legal referral site that may assist you in locating competent local counsel: www.Martindale.com

I wish you the best of luck in this difficult situation

Thank you in advance for remembering to click accept. If you experience difficulty using the accept button, please let me know as JustAnswer pays me for my time only if the "accept" registers..

Please let me know if I can assist you in the future by requesting me directly - if you're a subscriber, you can do so at no additional cost beyond your monthly payment. Start your new question with "for WebLaw" so that the question is directed to me and I can give your question my immediate attention

Thank you very much,
WebLaw
Ask Your Own Family Law Question
Customer reply replied 5 years ago

You did not answer my question about representing myself. Is it doable? Will my current lawyer have to give me my file? Etc

Family Lawyer: Ellen, Lawyer replied 5 years ago
Sorry I was not clear. It may be doable for you to represent yourself. However when you go before the divorce master you will have a greater chance of settling if you have a strong lawyer. Put yourself in the shoes of the other attorney. Would you be more likely to settle if your opponent was a stronger attorney or a self represented litigant with no legal divorce experience


I think this is what you wanted to know. Please use the REPLY button if you have any questions concerning my answer. Otherwise please click ACCEPT so that I am paid by the site for answering.
Ellen
Ellen, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 36,715
Experience: 25 years of experience helping people like you.
Verified
Ellen and 87 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Ask your own question now
Ask Ellen Your Own Question
Ellen
Ellen
Ellen, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 36,715
36,715 Satisfied Customers
Experience: 25 years of experience helping people like you.

Ellen is online now

A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How JustAnswer works:

  • Ask an ExpertExperts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional AnswerVia email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction GuaranteeRate the answer you receive.

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

Not only did he answer my Michigan divorce question but was also able to help me out with it, too. I have since won my legal case on this matter and thank you so much for it.

LeeMichigan

Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises!

Gary B.Edmond, OK

My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer.

EricRedwood City, CA

I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight.

MichaelWichita, KS

PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent.

Three H.Houston, TX

Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!!

ElaineAtlanta, GA

It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem.

TonyApopka, FL

< Previous | Next >

Meet the Experts:

Ely

Ely

Counselor at Law

11,875 satisfied customers

Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.

LawTalk

LawTalk

Attorney and Counselor at Law

9,025 satisfied customers

30 years legal experience. I remain current in Family Law through regular continuing education.

Dimitry K., Esq.

Dimitry K., Esq.

Attorney

7,856 satisfied customers

I provide family and divorce law advice to my clients in my firm.

Tina

Tina

Lawyer

6,562 satisfied customers

JD, 17 years legal experience including family law

Barrister

Barrister

Lawyer

3,415 satisfied customers

Attorney with 17 years experience

P. Simmons

P. Simmons

Lawyer

3,398 satisfied customers

16 yrs. of experience including family law.

RobertJDFL

RobertJDFL

Lawyer

2,787 satisfied customers

Experienced in multiple areas of the law.

< Previous | Next >

Related Family Law Questions
Ray NC law RE: Equitable Distribution and Consent Order. I
Hello RayNC law RE: Equitable Distribution and Consent Order.I understand a Consent Order is just that. The parties agreed and consented to certain things. As such, I believe this is typically not sub… read more
Ray
Ray
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
30,865 satisfied customers
NC, Equitable Distribution laws. Equitable distribution and
greetings-NC, Equitable Distribution laws.Equitable distribution and distributive award.E.D. Judgment: marital home is over-valued. . Broker used the courts over-valued sales price. . 6 months later b… read more
Ray
Ray
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
30,865 satisfied customers
Issue is contemp of court in a divorce property settlement.
Issue is contemp of court in a divorce property settlement. Can the property settlement be reviewed as well? What if the settlement was created based on current or recent circumstances but in the end … read more
Olivia Kent
Olivia Kent
Managing Partner
Doctoral Degree
1,959 satisfied customers
Share of 50%of Equitable distribution pay tax? ( husband's
Share of 50%of Equitable distribution pay tax? ( husband's compensation )At the divorce settlement, Share of Marital assets, liquid assets, retirement accounts pay tax?Who's paying tax on?Wife has not… read more
lucy7368
lucy7368
Juris Doctor
763 satisfied customers
Divorce. Georgia. Need to answer to divorce complaint
need to answer to divorce complaint without minor children… read more
Ray
Ray
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
30,865 satisfied customers
I have a court order for property settlement and my wife was
I have a court order for property settlement and my wife was to leave the house on 28th October, 2017. She asked for an extension of 2 weeks however, stated that she would move out on 27th November, 2… read more
INFOLAWYER
INFOLAWYER
Partner
Doctoral Degree
56,287 satisfied customers
My property settlement agreement in my divorce says alimony
My property settlement agreement in my divorce says alimony is irrevocable pursuant to Lepis vs Lepis. Can my ex change the agreement or not? … read more
INFOLAWYER
INFOLAWYER
Partner
Doctoral Degree
56,287 satisfied customers
Divorce settlement equitable distribution amount is up to
Divorce settlement equitable distribution amount is up to the date filed divorce or judgement of divorce? Ny.… read more
LegalKnowledge
LegalKnowledge
Juris Doctor
28,141 satisfied customers
If a spouse does not sign the property settlement agreement,
If a spouse does not sign the property settlement agreement, does Virginia allow divorce by default or abandonment after 21 days of delivery of the document? … read more
Ray
Ray
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
30,865 satisfied customers
I have a question about equitable distribution in North
Hi Pearl, I have a question about equitable distribution in North Carolina. … read more
LegalKnowledge
LegalKnowledge
Juris Doctor
28,141 satisfied customers
Tina, my divorce property settlement was Stipulated
Hi Tina, my divorce property settlement was Stipulated Judgement that the property was returned to me sole and separate.Can a subsequent transfer be nullified if it is questionable? … read more
PaulmoJD
PaulmoJD
Attorney At Law
Doctoral Degree
106 satisfied customers
I entered into a property settlement agreement with my ex
I entered into a property settlement agreement with my ex wife. At the time we agreed to the settlement, she had told me that the divorce would be temporary, she just needed space and we would remarry… read more
LegalKnowledge
LegalKnowledge
Juris Doctor
28,141 satisfied customers
Im confused on what equitable distribution laws are through
Im confused on what equitable distribution laws are through a masters. If I have non-marital funds and so does my wife as defined through a prenup, does a masters weigh out the non-marital contributio… read more
Gerald, Esq
Gerald, Esq
Juris Doctor
3,537 satisfied customers
Is there a statute of limitations on property settlement in
Is there a statute of limitations on property settlement in a separation/divorce? My situation is that in our separation agreement of August 2012 we divided assets which are specified in the agreement… read more
Alex Esquire
Alex Esquire
Managing Attorney
Doctoral Degree
153 satisfied customers
In the final trial in a NC for Equitable distribution, I
In the final trial in a NC for Equitable distribution, I remember being prepared to give an opening statement. When I looked at court procedure rules it said both would have an opp to do this. In mine… read more
Ray
Ray
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
30,865 satisfied customers
If NC State is handling the equitable distribution of
Hi if NC State is handling the equitable distribution of property because 1 spiyse has dementis and had to have a mediator and they have had paprrs 5 months and not finished. I was told I could go ahe… read more
LegalGems
LegalGems
Juris Doctorate
10,698 satisfied customers
Equitable Distribution to the non-Wage-Earner As you know,
Equitable Distribution to the non-Wage-EarnerAs you know, in non-community property states, property is divided upon divorce in a fair manner (equitable distribution). The relative contributions made … read more
lucy7368
lucy7368
Juris Doctor
763 satisfied customers
I am getting equitable distribution of retirement account.
I am getting equitable distribution of retirement account. My lawyer said, " retirement account, not taxable ". Bank financial advisor told me " transferring to my name, not taxable, but when I withdr… read more
mmdesq
mmdesq
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
518 satisfied customers

DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

Show MoreShow Less

Ask Your Question

x