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Several years back, when I asked my divorce attorney if there

was anything in the law...
Several years back, when I asked my divorce attorney if there was anything in the law to prevent someone who was unstable and intent on vengeance at any cost(my ex) from bankrupting a family through litigation, his answer was "no" and my experience has proven him correct.

Though I reapeatedly supplied proof that as sole support of a family of four my income had averaged less than $39,000 the four previous years, and that we had been living off our rapidly, dwindling remaining assets, my ex, who refused to attend two sit-downs, court recommended mediation, and a settlement offer that was more than what the court ultimately awarded her, was allowed to run rampant resulting in $93,000 (since March of 2010) in legal fees for my half alone. And the lunacy continues fees. I am also told that I cannot request another judge. What, if any, are my other options?
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Answered in 27 minutes by:
3/19/2013
AlexiaEsq.
AlexiaEsq., Managing Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 13,572
Experience: 19+ Years of Legal Practice in Family law matters.
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Hi, thanks for your inquiry! I have been practicing family law for 17+ years and have specific experience with issues like yours. That being said...

When you say legal fees, may I presume you mean for your hired attorney? (And may I presume you have not paid that large bill in full?)

Also do you have custody of how many minor children?

Do you receive child support?

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Customer reply replied 4 years ago

Yes, I mean attorney fees. I have paid roughly $80,000 of the 93k. I have 50% legal and physical custody of my 15 year old son. I was paying $200 a week in child support until July of 2010, when I got a six month long job and was then required to pay $325 a week in alimony and $325 a week in child support which I was willing to do (and did), however, my contract was not renewed for the following year (I am a television writer who made a lot of money once but has struggled to find adequate employment for the last decade - last year was a miraculous and welcome anomoly) so I sought a modification to revert back to the old amount and recieved temporary orders to pay $200 a week in child support, and $150 a week in alimony until the pre-trial coming up in May. I would prefer to reach a reasonable figure without again enriching any more attorneys, but my ex will again be insistent on litigating. To be fair to my current attorney, she has made it plain to the court numerous times that we cannot afford it and the judge himself said we couldn't but there was no consequence when my ex wife refused to meet with the court mediator that he recommended. She (my ex) wouldn't even sign a joint tax return that would have given us both a larger refund.

Hi again, and thank you. With regard to your information:

Several years back, when I asked my divorce attorney if there was anything in the law to prevent someone who was unstable and intent on vengeance at any cost(my ex) from bankrupting a family through litigation, his answer was "no" and my experience has proven him correct. Well, there a way, actually...

Though I reapeatedly supplied proof that as sole support of a family of four my income had averaged less than $39,000 the four previous years, and that we had been living off our rapidly, dwindling remaining assets, my ex, who refused to attend two sit-downs, court recommended mediation, and a settlement offer that was more than what the court ultimately awarded her, was allowed to run rampant By a judge, I presume.... resulting in $93,000 (since March of 2010) in legal fees for my half alone. And the lunacy continues fees. I am also told that I cannot request another judge. Generally, that is true, unless you can point to proof that he has a conflict of interest or some improper behavior... in which case you may ask that he recuse himself. Also, if he makes rulings that are contrary to the law, you can appeal those rulings...

 

What, if any, are my other options?

Yes, I mean attorney fees. I have paid roughly $80,000 of the 93k. Wow. I have 50% legal and physical custody of my 15 year old son. I was paying $200 a week in child support until July of 2010, when I got a six month long job and was then required to pay $325 a week in alimony and $325 a week in child support which I was willing to do (and did), however, my contract was not renewed for the following year (I am a television writer who made a lot of money once but has struggled to find adequate employment for the last decade I understand.

- last year was a miraculous and welcome anomoly) so I sought a modification to revert back to the old amount and recieved temporary orders to pay $200 a week in child support, and $150 a week in alimony until the pre-trial coming up in May. Oh, so you are not yet divorced?

I would prefer to reach a reasonable figure without again enriching any more attorneys, but my ex will again be insistent on litigating. OK, here is what MANY people do - they do not use an attorney and the self-represent. It may be stressful, and a bit of work for you, but it costs you nothing, and if the wife has a lawyer, your ability to sit in court for hours without worrying about the costs, may drive her to stop incurring her own debts. Many, many people are pro se in divorce court. Think about it, most people can't afford the legal fees.

To be fair to my current attorney, she has made it plain to the court numerous times that we cannot afford it and the judge himself said we couldn't but there was no consequence when my ex wife refused to meet with the court mediator that he recommended. Did you motion for sanctions? Attorneys fees? Were those motions denied?

She (my ex) wouldn't even sign a joint tax return that would have given us both a larger refund.
Did you ask the judge to Order it? If not, why not? Those are things that come up each year, so you will want to get on that. Same with who gets to take the child on the tax return - make sure that is carved in stone. It will be the one with more time with him, or else a waiver form will have to be completed and presented by the party to the IRS.

But going back, the greatest way to not go broke in divorce is to NOT use an attorney - to self-represent. Stay on top of it, study up, don't leave things to the last minute, and it is do-able for the average person. And for some, it is so very freeing - because the bleeding stops, yet they are still fighting for fairness in the divorce.


I hope this helps! Let me know if you need follow up before or after RATING me. And PLEASE know that my job depends on a POSITIVE rating now and at least an 8-10 feedback rating later. Thanks! I won't forget your support.

Sincerely,

Alexia Esq.



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AlexiaEsq.
AlexiaEsq., Managing Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 13,572
Experience: 19+ Years of Legal Practice in Family law matters.
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