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Ginafur
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Reged: 01/18/12
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Lawyer walked out of meeting
      #774966 - 01/20/12 10:33 AM

I'm having an issue with my lawyer and not sure what to do. I was married for 22 years with 2 kids and was basically a stay at home mom. I always worked during our marriage, either child care or house cleaning or fast food... but I was one of those "mushroom wives" when it came to the finances (kept in the dark and fed crap). Now my STBX has a masters degree and makes about 125k. He cheated and we split up.

I'm not a brain surgeon and yes, I was naive. I've been separated for 4 years and my STBX would pay my rent and give me a little money every month if I begged. So I decided to bring a very smart guy with me to my lawyer meetings so he can help me understand what's going on. At my second meeting my lawyer slammed her hand on the conference table and said that it's not this guys divorce and she won't meet with me if he is present, then she left the room. We were both shocked to say the least. The problem seems to be that she thinks I should take $2500.00 per month as maintenance and my friend thinks I should get more like 3000-3500. The lawyer says that is too much and is a disincentive for him to keep working... sounds kinda dumb to me since he makes $10k per month.

Should I fire her, go along with what the lawyer wants to do or insist she does what I want? HELP?


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Renny
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Re: Lawyer walked out of meeting [Re: Ginafur]
      #774970 - 01/20/12 11:30 AM

There are a tangle of ethical problems for yoyur lawyer dealing with you and someone "coaching" you, which may amount to the unauthorized practice of law. The friend may or may not be a lover, too, which carries its own professional problems.

At any rate, figuring out the correct amount of child support should not be guesswork. Does your state use a calculator? Is the "maintenance" you refer to cs, alimony or both?

You don't need a reason to fire the lawyer.

Edited by Renny (01/20/12 12:19 PM)


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Ginafur
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Re: Lawyer walked out of meeting [Re: Renny]
      #774972 - 01/20/12 12:22 PM

It's not child support as my kids are adults. I'm asking for maintenance since I have no employable skills other than cleaning houses and I've had 3 back surgeries so that's out of the question. At his income rate I don't think $3000-3500 per month is asking too much but my lawyer insists that she knows the judge won't award that much because he only brings home about $7000. My friend thinks he should adjust his deductions if he needs more for himself every month. For 20 years I raised kids, worked part time and kept a beautiful home while he got his degrees and fooled around.

But the slamming her hand on the table, yelling at us and terminating the meeting seems unprofessional and rude. My friend thinks I should fire her...

Edited by Ginafur (01/20/12 12:24 PM)


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Renny
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Re: Lawyer walked out of meeting [Re: Ginafur]
      #774973 - 01/20/12 12:30 PM

"But the slamming her hand on the table, yelling at us and terminating the meeting seems unprofessional and rude. My friend thinks I should fire her..." / quote

Do what you think is best. You don't have to put up with a rude lawyer.


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Debi
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Re: Lawyer walked out of meeting [Re: Ginafur]
      #775070 - 01/22/12 11:44 AM

You don't need a reason to fire your attorney. I would keep a couple of things in mind though. First if you paid a retainer that money is likely not refundable so you will lose it. Second, your attorney probably has a better idea of what a judge in your county will and won't go for than your friend does (unless he has a law degree and has dealt with these judges). What the people involved in the case "feel" is fair and what is reality are often 2 different things. You are emotionally involved (of course) and you feel you should be compensated for his discretions. It doesn't work that way and since there is no CS to consider you are not likely to get half of his take home pay.

You have been separated for 4 years, he has paid the rent and given you a little money. How have you been paying for things otherwise? Those are things that will be considered when determining the amount and length of alimony. If you have been living this amount of time on far less that 3500 a month you may be expected to continue doing that.

Just as you have the right to fire your attorney, she has the right to not deal with your friend. He is not paying her and if she feels he is making things more difficult she has every right to refuse to allow him in the meetings. He is NOT her client. And BTW you don't really want an attorney who is polite you want one who stands her ground. I'm sure you'd hate to see your STBX's attorney mop the floor with her.

--------------------
When we were together, you said you'd die for me. Now, I think it's time you kept your promise.


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Maury
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Re: Lawyer walked out of meeting [Re: Debi]
      #775426 - 01/24/12 11:01 AM

You may always hire new counsel. However, your attorney is correct that you are the person who must make decisions. Although a friend may try to explain what is being said to you, your friend should not be your primary mouthpiece when discussing the case with your attorney.

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Calvert
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Re: Lawyer walked out of meeting [Re: Maury]
      #800234 - 03/02/13 05:42 AM

[quote]You may always hire new counsel. However, your attorney is correct that you are the person who must make decisions. Although a friend may try to explain what is being said to you, your friend should not be your primary mouthpiece when discussing the case with your attorney. [/quote]

Well i think this would be good. A friend can explain for him that what is being said there. Or can hire new counsel.



Edited by Calvert (03/02/13 05:48 AM)


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tombob
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Re: Lawyer walked out of meeting [Re: Calvert]
      #801706 - 04/02/13 06:25 AM

Take home pay = about $7,000 a month... less $2,500 to you = $4,500. You stated you DO work some... so, $2,500 + $1,000 you earn = $3,500 monthly for you and $4,500 monthly for him. And if he's being paid $125k per year, you can bet he's working his butt off for it. I agree with your attorney and understand her frustration with having a "coach" there with you. Your "friend" is doing nothing more than driving up the legal costs for everyone involved. Unrealistic expectations from either side are a killer. Your attorney has probably worked with the judge on 100's of cases just like yours... how many has your "friend" taken in front of the judge?

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