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RobertJDFL
RobertJDFL, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 13470
Experience:  Experienced in multiple areas of the law.
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Amigo, it's JR from Dallas, how are you?

Customer Question

Hi amigo, it's JR from Dallas, how are you?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Samuel II replied 1 year ago.

Hello JR

This is Samuel. What is the legal situation you need information for, please?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My apologies, but I requested RobertJDFL. We've been communicating for over a year.
Expert:  Samuel II replied 1 year ago.

Ok. I will opt out. You should put your request in the heading of your question. Otherwise, others cannot see there was a request. Thank you and good luck.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you, ***** ***** I'm sorry, I'll remember that next time.
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 1 year ago.

Hello again,

Sorry for the tardy reply. As I mentioned, I was out of town for a few days, and I had a family matter come up that I am also attending to (let's just say you aren't the only one with a sometimes challenging ex). How are things going as of late?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Oh dang, sorry to hear that.Well, looks like I no longer have a case. My ex out of nowhere became nice, almost too nice. So now Jonathan, my new attorney, thinks that because my ex is learning to behave herself, the judge can say she may have seen the error of her ways and is no longer a nuisance. So as long as she keeps behaving herself, everything will remain as is.As it turns out, she and her boyfriend (the person she cheated on me with) broke up. He was living at the house for a few months but moved out maybe a month ago.As if that wasn't twisted enough, now my ex mother in law is hoping my ex and I can work things out for a possible reconciliation.I don't know about that because for one there'll be some serious trust issues since she was unfaithful during our marriage, but her father and I got into a very vicious and violent argument.Reason being is because I was concerned about my daughter's recent anxiety about going home. She told me she didn't want to go home to mommy about a month ago which is about the time she and her now ex broke up.I called my ex to tell her our daughter was heading home on Thursday. When she answered her phone she seemed rushed and I thought I heard him in the background. I text her telling her if he was there I did not want our daughter around him if there was any hostility.She ignored my calls and text messages, I did however received a call from her dad, and that's when things exploded, insults and threats were hurled back and forth.It turns out my ex was with a friend and what I heard was the tv in the background. So I blew everything out of proportion and accused my ex of something that never happened.While I understand it's none of my business where she's at and who she's with, my overly protective instincts kicked in and I just wanted to protect my daughter.
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 1 year ago.

Oh wow, so a lot has gone on.

So, do you think that her boyfriend was the one affecting her behavior? I mean, no offense to your ex, but in our communications over the past year, I got the impression that she wasn't...I don't know --emotionally stable? Like she could be all over the place, and definitely didn't act with your daughter's best interest. Was that all him?

What is your lawyer suggesting then? That you drop things for now? I'd agree it's a heck of a lot harder to make a case when a situation is stable (because why change what isn't broken, right?), but does that just undo everything that happened up to this point? And who's to say that you drop things and then she reverts back to her old ways?

Ultimately, I know you want what is best for your daughter. You always have. If your ex stays nice, you guys get along, you follow the orders laid out in your agreement, and so forth, do you think that would be sufficient for you? I can't speak to your reconciliation - I don't know if that is something you even want or not, but I wouldn't be swayed by the wants of her mom in making any such decision. Perhaps the best thing, if that is something that BOTH of you are open to, is to go to some marital counseling first, while still apart, and seeing if you can work through your issues.

As for the argument, yes, it's unfortunate, and stuff happens. I know you were only looking out for your daughter, and arguably, your ex could have just said "No, he's not here, just my friend is over, the television is on loud in the background is all." If you want to do right, even though you're not entirely at fault - call and apologize. Say what you did to me - that you made a mistake in thinking the television was her ex, that your daughter had expressed to you being uncomfortable in the household with him recently, and you only meant to protect her. You never meant for it to lead to a heated argument, and if things were said, you regret it.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I'm pretty certain I don't want to reconcile with her, lol! It would be nice to have the family back together but again, there would be some serious trust issues going on.I tried to apologize but she wouldn't have it, she kept talking over me and I couldn't get a word in. She bluntly asked me to not contact her in any way unless it was in regards ***** ***** daughter. Her mom on the other hand was much more forgiving and understood where I was coming from.Jonathan wants to keep things as is, he said with the way things are going he sees no reason to pursue any new changes. He suggested we go to co-parenting class together and maybe work on a new visitation schedule on our own. We can draw it out and if we can agree to a new schedule we can draft it out on our own and have it notarized, this way wecan keep the attorneys and fees out of it. But if one day she decides she doesn't want me to have the modified visitation, then we can go to court with a new motion and I will have an official document proving we agreed on it.As far as her behavior, I had a strong suspicion he was behind it and she was being manipulated and influenced to act the way she did. Now, she is back to her old goofy self, the person I once knew and was married to.It's almost disturbing seeing the changes in her behavior. However, last I heard he is trying to make contact with her to reconcile their relationship and she admitted she's on the fence about it.
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 1 year ago.

I would agree it's good to get something down in writing now while she's in good spirits and more of the person you know, in the event she does go back to her more recent behaviors, or ends up back with her boyfriend. And like Jonathan said, if you can keep the lawyers out of it and save some money, even better.

Just curious, could you actually tell you ex (in a friendly, non-confrontational way, of course) something like "You're really a different person now that you're not together with boyfriend? You're more like the person I knew and was together with, and I like when we are able to get along and work together for what is best for our daughter?" Anything to help her try and see that this guy is toxic for her, plus warm her up to the idea of modifying the agreement.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
She won't own up to it, trust me. She'll still play the victim and find a way to blame me for her attitude and behavior.To this day she has blamed me for everything and denies any wrong doing in any way.
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 1 year ago.

Takes two to tango, right?

But if that's the case, would she even be open to the idea of a modification of the visitation/custody agreement?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
She won't be open to it unfortunately
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 1 year ago.

Given that then, maybe the better approach is to tell Jonathan to put things on the back burner for now, so as to not run up attorney fees unnecessarily. I feel like she has too much invested with this guy to just let him go, so chances are they are going to attempt to reconcile, and she will revert to her old ways. That, or she will get involved with someone new, and if she is that easily influenced, well, I would expect similar actions as to what she has been doing in the past.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Well, she and I just had an explosive argument.I tried calling her to agree on a halfway point for the exchange. The argument was loud and riddled with insults back and forth. Before she hung up she said she was calling the police and her attorney because I harassed her.I couldn't get to the reason I called her, I was just getting cut off left and right.I tried, that's all I can say. :-/
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 1 year ago.

What started the argument then?

Things like this make me think maybe it's not in the best interest of your daughter to just let things go for now. Clearly she's got a temper and now I wouldn't be surprised if she just goes back to doing the same sort of thing she has been. But what you don't want to do is get on that level. Don't buy into it, if you know what I mean? I'm not the best at it, so I'm probably the last person who should be giving that recommendation to someone (I'm of Sicilian descent and my temper is explosive at times). She wants to yell and scream, hurl insults, etc., let her. Try to stay calm and speak calmly and repeat the reason for your call.

The police aren't going to do anything, and I doubt her lawyer is either. She's just as much a part of the argument as you were.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Her anger stems from the verbal fight her dad and I had.When she answered the phone she said "is this about Katelyn?" Not even a hello, she went straight to that. So I asked her to please calm down before I explained the reason for my call.I forgot there's a rule when arguing with a woman, a man should never tell her to calm down. So then the argument ensued and it got nasty.She thinks what happened Thursday was me acting as a jealous ex husband, I told her mom on Friday that I was being a protective dad because again, Katelyn was displaying some level of anxiety when she knew she was going home.I didn't know what was happening at home, and her mom leaving me in the dark made me more on edge.
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 1 year ago.

Oh, I understand - and really she didn't need to open with that statement -which is why I said it almost seems like she LIKES to be hostile to you and look for arguments.

Perhaps going back to email communications for a little while, until things have settled, may be best.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yeah you're right, that's what we're going to have to do.Believe it or not, her dad and I just shook hands and hugged it out. As soon as I got out of my car I went to him, extended my hand, he looked at me for a second shook my hand and pulled me towards him and gave me a hug.So really, both of her parents and I hugged it out and we apologized to each other about the incident that happened the other night.I just really and truly wish my ex-wife would be just as accepting as her parents were.
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 1 year ago.

Obviously, her parents are more mature then she is, though.

Perhaps, however, you should mention in an email that you and her parents worked it out and apologized to one another for what happened the other night, that all of you understood that it was a misunderstanding and it never should have gotten heated the way it did. However, things are fine now.

If email has to be the means of communication for now, at least as we've discussed, you know that everything will be in writing and there shouldn't be any miscommunications about who said what, who did what, etc. It will all be clear to see.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Actually I did that that but it was through text message.
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 1 year ago.

Okay, good. Not much you can do now but wait for her to calm down, I suppose.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It'll take her a while.Hey so quick question regarding family law. If everyone involved in a case, lawyers and judges, practice in the same state then obviously they've been trained and licensed to practice in their state, that means they each know how family law works for that state.If that's the case, if you know just as much as an opposing counsel then you both know what the outcome is going to be correct? If so, what's the point of arguing before a judge since even the judge knows what the attorneys know?
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 1 year ago.

Family law isn't like other areas of law though in that it's more of a "guideline" in many ways, mainly in the areas of child custody and visitation. What I mean is, it's not like say, criminal law, where if the law says a if you are convicted of first degree murder, you must be sentenced to life without parole (for example), then that's it. Sure, there's a trial, but once convicted, there's little a lawyer can do.

In family law, the law may clearly state how to calculate child support, but when it comes to custody and visitation, what it really comes down to is the "best interest of the child." So, while the laws may lay out factors as guidelines, every case is going to really turn on the evidence, and the presentation of that evidence and arguments in support of and against it as applied to the law, and then a judge will make their decision after weighing the evidence in light of the law.

Does that make sense?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Makes sense actually, I've been strongly thinking about going to school and shoot for a career in law.What's the strangest evidence you've seen presented in court?
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 1 year ago.

There was the time in a family law case where we were representing the mother and on the stand during trial took testimony from her that she had seen her mother in law give a BJ to her 3 1/2 year old son during a diaper change. That made for a VERY interesting discussion with the judge.

Oh, and when I was still a paralegal, I worked for a firm that did a lot of personal injury/products liability work, and they had an entire room that contained all of these defective products and items that had injured people. No one told me that though, and one day, when I was still new to the firm, I opened the door thinking it lead somewhere else, and walked into a room of horrors -mangled bikes, blood covered meat grinders, faulty trampolines (you have no idea how many cases I've read about kids losing limbs on trampolines), etc.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok, I dropped my phone on that first part and stared blankly at my wall contemplating life. Geese Louise man!Yeah, I've seen some gory stuff when I worked at an ER here in Dallas.Some nurse thought it'd be funny to drop a piece of skin next to my breakfast in triage that a motorcyclist tore in an accident. It didn't gross me out or anything, she was kinda bummed I didn't get sick lol!
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 1 year ago.

Eww, that's disgusting!

I don't have the stomach for medicine, for sure. My aunt is an RN, so she's shared some pretty graphic stuff. And I have a friend who is a paramedic, who will call me and say things like "I just got to sit in on an autopsy! When they peeled the face back? Incredible!"

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
We had an interesting case that made the news.We had a young girl that was stepping out of work and was randomly chosen to be shot at. Someone shot her in the face but missed her eye, the bullet was lodged in her sinus cavity and she survived. This was 4 years ago and the shooter was never caught.I've seen heads impaled, I've held someone's guts, I've seen faces peeled; I've been peed, pooped, and vomited on and I've slipped on blood.Yep, I've smelled, touched and tasted some interesting cool stuffs.
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 1 year ago.

And this is why I practice law, lol!

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Come on man, you haven't lived life until you've massaged someone's heart back into rhythm! :-P
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 1 year ago.

Haha! Please, I freaked out when my client had a seizure by my car after the hearing. Grateful that the paramedics got there in under 90 seconds!

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Oh my! That reminds when I was working retail as I was going to school I sold a pair of glasses that cost $600!The customer spaced out, fell out of her chair and went into convulsions. I thought she was playing so I said, "oh yeah that's kinda pricey but aren't you being a little too dramatic?"If that wasn't enough, I grabbed my pen and poked her in the ribs and said "ok you can stop that now, yes it's funny 'oh your prices knocked me out!'"After about 30 seconds of convulsions I stood up with a terrified look and said "oh crap she ain't playing, she's really having a seizure."We called 911 and they showed up way fast.
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 1 year ago.

Yea, I never want to go through that again!

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Well, I grew up with that actually. My dad is epileptic so I learned real quick how to address it. Thankfully his are under control, he has an episode once every 5 years.
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 1 year ago.

Yea, this particular individual I was representing in a disability claim. He had been tazed by police and developed a seizure disorder as a result where he had hundreds of minor seizures (almost like tremors) a day, and then larger ones at times.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hmm, don't know how that can happen since tasers attack muscle tissue and not the CNS. But then again, stranger things have happened.
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 1 year ago.

It may have been completely unrelated, but it didn't start until he was tased. Whatever it was, I felt bad for the guy. Certainly no way to live.

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