I think I need to get a new lawyer. My circumstances have been deteriorating for about four months now and my attorney isn't doing anything about it. Last week the only credit card I had that I mistakenly thought my etbx (eventually to be x) was responsible for, was shut down by the credit card company. It turns out, X had opened account THIRTEEN years ago as the primary card holder but with my social security number! That's fraud. However, because we're married, the criminal system won't arrest him and I was advised to make it part of the divorce... Anyway, my two kids and I have very little money now and my lawyer actually returned my call last Friday evening, said he'd call me Saturday morning from his office and file this week. Nothing. No calls. No return calls. His secretary raised her voice at me when I asked when I could expect a call from him (I asked her not to do that -- I'm under enough stress) and no filing. I am at my wit's end. Without my lawyer to file my papers, I'm stuck. I don't understand why he told me he'd call me on a Saturday (he said he was going into the office anyway) and then not even return my calls all week. There are too many details to go into, but the etbx is getting away with so many things. We haven't been to court even once and he pays no child support or maintenance. He's been funding the checking account from our money market fund, which I only confirmed two weeks ago. He's changed passwords on accounts so I can't access them online anymore. He's living with his 25 year old girlfriend from sugardaddie.com, her little son and her mother in a 10 room house he's rented for them and my lawyer won't even file! WHAT CAN I DO??????
I'm hoping someone will please reply soon. I need an aggressive, RESPONSIVE attorney. My current attorney does not return calls, my financial circumstances are deteriorating at an accelerating rate and I need help as soon as possible. Future X is not paying child support or maintenance. My current attorney has not even filed my papers with the court despite revising them twice and charging me to do so. I need an attorney in Westchester County for the White Plains court system. Thanks to anyone who is willing to give personal recommendations.
Loc: New York
I am not in ur part of NYS; can't help there.
I found my lawyer by going to court and observing.
When I saw an experienced litigator (well-versed in statutes, well-respected by judges, and a good orator) that was able to stop opposition in their tracks; I hired her.
I wouldn't say that my attorney was overly responsive. She is a litigator; who is in court 95% of the time. Leaves little time for hand-holding.
As an experienced lawyer; she didn't need to spend that much time w/ me. She has heard it all before.
What clients need to understand is that there is a limited amount that an attorney can do to stop the shennigans until the court dates arrive.
A good client needs to be proactive. Needs to keep the lawyer updated w/ developments in concise unemotional memos.
The facts should be re-summarized again eve of court date. Reduced to a couple of pages not the novel of your life.
Always bring extra copies of all your evidence. Always keep your originals with you for every courtdate. Always have your own copy of all motions, decisions, judgments, etc.
Lastly, preparation must be done by the client. Attorneys aren't mind-readers. The more detailed the below documentation is, the better job your lawyer can do.
(The below list came from: http://www.divorceinteractive.com/documents_in_divorce.asp
1. Your paycheck stubs from all sources of employment over the last year. At a minimum, try to provide paycheck stubs for the last three months.
2. If you can get them, your spouse's paycheck stubs for the same period of time. Those check stubs will often show year top date earnings and deductions.
3. If either you or your spouse is self-employed, any and all business documents demonstrating payments received or charges billed are necessary. This includes - (a) job bids (b) invoices for work performed (c) ledgers of payments received (d) Bank deposit slips (e) bank statements (f) independent contractor agreements (g) contracts agreements
4. If either you or your spouse is self-employed, documentation regarding business expenses is necessary. These may include check registers, canceled checks, payment receipts, check carbons, computerized income or expense records, financial statements, profit and loss statements, general ledgers.
5. At a minimum, copies of your joint or individual tax returns, both state and federal, for the past three years.
6. Copies of any business tax returns for any business in which you or your spouse hold an interest for the past three years.
7. If either party works for cash, necessary documentation may include:
Check ledgers demonstrating expenses paid during marriage (a person working for cash will often have check registers that do not show payments for necessities of life such as groceries - the explanation for that omission is often cash payments)
Any receipts for cash payments.
8. A copy of any financial statements or statements of net worth prepared by you or your spouse for the purpose of securing bank loans or for any other purpose.
9. Any other information that will help you establish your net worth, your spouse's net worth, your joint net worth, your income, and your spouse's income.
REAL ESTATE INFORMATION
10. Deeds, abstracts, and Torrens certificates showing the legal description of your homestead and any other real estate. Secure these from your mortgage company or lending institution if you do not have them.
11. Current mortgage statements on the first mortgage, second mortgage and/or home equity loans on the homestead and any other real estate.
12. All papers and documents covering the initial purchase of the homestead including the purchase agreement.
13. Any and all documents refinancing the loans on any parcel of real estate owned during the marriage (those refinancing documents are likely to include and appraisal of the property and a statement regarding income of the parties).
14. Tax assessor's statements on the homestead and other real properties.
SAVINGS AND CHECKING ACCOUNTS
15. Savings passbooks and savings certificates of individual or joint accounts held individually or jointly by you and your spouse.
16. Any and all bank statements for the past year from any account in your name or held jointly with your spouse.
17. If possible, list of corporate stocks or stock certificates owned by you and your spouse individually or jointly.
18. Any current life insurance policies on your life, your spouseís life or on your children whether it is an individual policy or a policy through your employer. To be complete you should provide any and all statements you have regarding that life insurance policy including any documents indicating a cash balance or loans against them.
19. An itemized list of all debts in either your name or the name of your spouse, with the attached invoices or statements for each. You should include any outstanding unsecured bills including credit cards, accounts payable, student loans and/or medical bills. The documents provided should include the statements at the time of your separation as well as the current balance.
DEFERRED COMPENSATION PLANS
20. A copy of the most recent statements for any:
(C) profit sharing/401 K plan
(D) Mutual funds
21. Title or registration cards to all automobiles/boats/ATVís/snowmobiles or other motor vehicles owned by you or your spouse individually or jointly.
22.Any documents demonstrating the current outstanding secured debt on the automobiles/boats/snowmobiles/ATVís including payment coupons, amortization schedules or monthly invoices
23. Any job descriptions that may exist.
24. A current resume for you and your spouse.
25. Any benefits information related to you or your spouseís employment including health insurance information
26. Report Cards for the children.
27. Medical Records for the children.
28. Daycare records for the children.
29. Any homework assignments that you have signed or approved.
NECESSARY MONTHLY EXPENSES
30. You should provide your lawyer with a list of necessary monthly expenses. You should be prepared to support your list with documentation that the expenses listed are accurate. It can be devastating to your case financially, if you embellish your monthly expenses to the point that they are unbelievable and unsupportable.
Monthly expenses, may include:
Mortgage or Rent;
Real Estate Tax;
Insurance (home owners or renters);
Home Equity Loan;
Sewer & Water;
Telephone - Long Distance;
Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. --Plato
Hi PhoenixRising, Thanks so much for your reply!!! At this point, I have provided all this information. Unfortunately, none of it is doing any good since my attorney is not only not returning my calls, but hasn't filed my papers with the court! I can't be prepared on the eve of a court date that can't be assigned without the papers being filed. I am at my wit's end because he's not even returning my calls after making a big deal last week of intending to call me the next morning and filing my papers last week (this has happened before, by the way). I believe he has too many cases and no time to attend to my case. In the mean time, my fx continues to pull one financial thing after another and now my kids and I are really strapped. This is after living a life of great privilege and luxury. Now, the fx is living with his 25 yr old girlfriend, her kid and her mother in a 10 room house in complete financial security. It's as though I don't even have an attorney and I don't have the money to hire another...I could borrow the money to retain another one but it will take time for him/her to get up to speed on the case, etc. Urghhh!