How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Brandon M. Your Own Question
Brandon M.
Brandon M., Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 12620
Experience:  Attorney experienced in all aspects of family law
Type Your Family Law Question Here...
Brandon M. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

A close friend of mine that is a doctor in Mexico married an

Customer Question

Hi, a close friend of mine that is a doctor in Mexico married an American. When they got married in the US he formally/legally adopter her infant in Mexico. The infant is a Mexican citizen, but his real father is an american also. A year later she went back to Mexico and was unable to return due to her immigration status. This happened over 3 years ago, a few months ago he let her know he had divorced her, here in the US. In the divorce decree he states that he does not have any children with her, though not biological he did adopt him. It also does not state that he has a history of domestic violence with her and he was even put in jail for it. She face book messaged the lawyer that did the divorce and asked him if it was illegal what he did and the lawyer said he would fix it. She is very upset at both her ex husband and the lawyer because she never consented to the divorce. What could be done?
JA: Because family law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: Texas
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: over what in particular?
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: no
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Brandon M. replied 9 months ago.

Good day, my name is Brandon. I am a licensed attorney, and happy to help. Has your friend seen any of the court documents related to the divorce?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
the courthouse emailed it to her
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
would you like me to send it to you
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Here is the decree
Expert:  Brandon M. replied 9 months ago.

Thank you. Let me look it over briefly.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Here is a screenshot of the conversation with the lawyer
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Another screenshot
Expert:  Brandon M. replied 9 months ago.

Thank you. The first thing to understand is that she can't count on the lawyer to help her. The lawyer has no duty to her whatsoever; only to the lawyer's own client. I'm sorry to say that anything the lawyer says is meaningless and it was an unfortunate mistake to rely on him for information or help.

Expert:  Brandon M. replied 9 months ago.

So, based on that first page you sent, the court is saying that she was notified by "substituted service." Substituted service is when the party isn't notified directly, but someone else is notified on their behalf. An example would be if someone comes to your home and leaves the documents with a family member instead of you. That's the claim anyway.

Expert:  Brandon M. replied 9 months ago.

The document was date stamped June 29, 2016. When did she actually receive this copy?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
She received the decree a day later, but who would have they notified if she has no family members in the US
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Was the the lawyer did wrong?
Expert:  Brandon M. replied 9 months ago.

I can't say who received the notice, and I'm not even saying that anyone really did. She can contact the court where it was filed and ask for a copy of the entire case file; it will include a proof of service and show who allegedly served whom, and when.

I'm also not going to say that his attorney did anything wrong, but I am saying that the lawyer has no duty to anyone who is not his client. The lawyer can hypothetically say "sure, I'll look at it and get back to you", and then do nothing because there is no duty there.

Expert:  Brandon M. replied 9 months ago.

I'm very concerned about what was decided at court while she wasn't present. My recommendation is for her to immediately contact a family law attorney in the county where the divorce was held to get the decree vacated. I also recommend that she immediately contact the court to make arrangements to get a copy of the case file. Every court is different; some courts require you to appear in person to make the photocopy, while others will copy and mail to you for a fee, and others yet have the information online. Regardless of this court's system, she needs to see what happened and get an attorney to straighten it out. The good news is that this type of thing tends to happen in family law cases, so it won't be a shock to the court if she says that she was never served. The judges are usually uncomfortable making decisions when a party doesn't show up, so for any given case, a "do over" is oftentimes possible.

Expert:  Brandon M. replied 9 months ago.

I hope that makes sense. Let me know if further clarification is needed, and please feel free to leave a positive rating if you are satisfied with my answers. Thank you!