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#615174 - 03/05/10 06:53 PM Should I fire my attorney?
palmel1234 Offline

journeyman

Registered: 03/05/10
Posts: 93
Iíve been married for 11 years, two children and we have a house that is in both of our names. I wanted the house, but husband refused to move out. We both work full time, but I pay the mortgage. Husband knows as long as I'm there, I'll make sure the mortgage is paid.

He was arrested for domestic violence in 2002. In 2004 he chocked me but I did not call the cops for that incident. In 2009 he pushed me into a desk and I called the cops. But the cop would not arrest him because he said I didnít have any bruises.

Every attorney I talked to told me I did not have a case for abuse. They told me I would have to take the kids and stay with friends until they filed for temporary support. Then, MAYBE the judge would order him out of the house and allow me to live in the house until the divorce was final.

I have no family in this town. I have some friends, but no one had room for me and two children to stay with them for what could possibly be two to three months.

Finally I found an attorney who told me I did not have to move out. He said he could get my husband removed based on abuse.

So we went to court and asked for divorce based on abuse. The judge denied our motion. She stated they could not determine what has happened since the last reported incident in 2004, and since we are still both living in the same house the court does not have jurisdiction to remove him from the house.

So what do you think, do you think my attorney failed me by trying to file for abuse or was it just a matter of getting the wrong judge?

Iím going to move out the end of this month. Once I move out, should I hire a new attorney to file separation papers for me or should I stick with the one I got? I've already used up my retainer with the current one.

The other thing I don't like about my attorney is he is always off with his dates. He told me it would only take him three days to file for a temporary hearing, but it took him six weeks to have my husband served. He told me it would only be a couple of weeks before we had a court date, it took over six weeks to get a court date. Granted it was the holidays and I realize he has no control over the court, but I do expect him to be a little accurate when predicting how long something will take. Maybe he's just telling me what I want to hear?

Based on these two problems - telling me we had a case for abuse when we didn't, and not accurate on time frames for getting things done, do you think I should get a new attorney?
Thanks.

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#615175 - 03/05/10 11:40 PM Re: Should I fire my attorney? [Re: palmel1234]
Yes_Dad Offline
Carpal \'Tunnel

Registered: 08/23/08
Posts: 7406
Well, you DO have a tough case on abuse. Pushed into a desk, no bruises? What did he do in 2002 to be arrested?

A lot of women use the abuse card (not to say you are) especially in divorce. One of my brothers wife is 911 happy, meaning if he looks at her weird, she calls 911. He's never laid a hand on her (and they are close to divorce). So, abuse is sometimes looked at with a jaded eye. Was he convicted is 2002?

Do you know how many women do this?

I would be more worried about the lawyer not following through because unless he has a DV conviction, it dosen't mean squat. False abuse charges am rampant.

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#615176 - 03/06/10 01:37 AM Re: Should I fire my attorney? [Re: Yes_Dad]
palmel1234 Offline

journeyman

Registered: 03/05/10
Posts: 93
Yeah, he didn't push me hard enough to make a bruise. And I don't blame the courts for being suspicous of claims of abuse.
In 2002 we got into an argument and he grabbed me by my arm and dragged me around the room in front of our three year old daughter. I filed for DV, but then he talked me out of pressing charges and agreed to go to counseling. He did, but the abuse changed from physical to mental. If I refused to have sex with him, he would not let me go to sleep, pulling the covers off me and arguing with me so I couldn't go to sleep until I finally would give in. I'm taking classes online and he would disconnect the internet so I couldn't do my homework. In front of the children he'd call me stupid and an idiot.

I NEVER would have gone this route if I thought it wouldn't work, only my attorney insisted I had a good case for abuse.
Which is why I'm concerned that my lawyer might have been just telling me what I wanted to hear, and not what I need to hear.

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#615177 - 03/07/10 08:07 AM Re: Should I fire my attorney? [Re: palmel1234]
Maury Offline
Carpal \'Tunnel

Registered: 06/02/04
Posts: 8182
Loc: This Asylum --->
You can't blame your lawyer for going forward with a domestic abuse claim when that is what you wanted. Generally, the threshhold is very low (too low) for granting such orders. They are based on a preponderance of evidence which means that a Judge determines credibility and who is more credible. A 51% threshhold is fairly low and orders are regularly granted without injuries. Of course, the claim must be contemporaneous withthe alleged abuse to have presumed merit.

In the end, an allegation of abuse should not be based on a caluclated determination that in grants an advantage in a custody case or that it grants in advantage in household occupancy. It should be based on a real fear that hram will come. All too often, the system is abused by those seeking to take advantage of the low threshhold.

A push is certainly atthe low end of the spectrum.

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#615178 - 03/08/10 04:50 PM Re: Should I fire my attorney? [Re: Maury]
palmel1234 Offline

journeyman

Registered: 03/05/10
Posts: 93
I didnít WANT to claim abuse. I wanted him out of the house, but he refused to move out. I wanted a divorce, but in SC you can't get one unless you've been separated for a year. My attorney told me that the way to get him out of the house is to file for divorce on grounds of abuse.
He told me we had a good case for abuse and I trusted his judgment.

"In the end, an allegation of abuse should not be based on a caluclated determination that in grants an advantage in a custody case or that it grants in advantage in household occupancy."

I understand what you are saying, which is why I am wondering if I should fire my attorney, since it appears he was wrong to tell me to file using abuse as grounds.

Since the motion was dismissed, what do I do now?
Move out and file separation papers?

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#615179 - 03/09/10 06:51 PM Re: Should I fire my attorney? [Re: palmel1234]
Maury Offline
Carpal \'Tunnel

Registered: 06/02/04
Posts: 8182
Loc: This Asylum --->
"I didnít WANT to claim abuse. I wanted him out of the house, but he refused to move out."

So you claimed abuse to get him out of the house? A house that he has equal rights to occupy? It sounds to me like you were trying to play the system to your favor. You can't blame that on the lawyer. You knew what you were doing and what motivation was behind it. In fact, based on your posts, other attorney's told you it was not likely based on the weak facts. You proceeded anyway.

Fortunately, it worked out the way it should.

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#615180 - 03/09/10 10:37 PM Re: Should I fire my attorney? [Re: Maury]
palmel1234 Offline

journeyman

Registered: 03/05/10
Posts: 93
I wasn't trying to "play the system". If you knew me you wouldn't say that about me. My attorney told me I could claim abuse. Yeah, the other attorneys told me no, but if one doctor gives you a bad diagnosis you go get a second opinion.

I didn't know what else to do. He refused to move out, and refused to sell the house. If I moved out, he wouldn't be able to pay the mortage on his own, so the house would go into foreclosure, and my credit would be ruined.
I'm the one paying the majority of the bills. I'm the one paying the mortgage and for any repairs to the house. I work full time, take care of the kids, take care of the house, and do the yard work as well. He didn't even want the house, until I said I wanted a divorce. Then he wanted the house because he knew that was the way to keep me from leaving.
Now I have to move out and my credit will be ruined. I wanted to sell the house and split the profit with him 50/50 but he refused.

I don't know how else to explain it to you, I didn't know there was anything wrong with filing for divorce on grounds for abuse when MY ATTORNEY TOLD ME I COULD and there were several instances of abuse.
I'm done trying to prove anything to you, Maury, have a good day.

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#615181 - 03/10/10 11:53 PM Re: Should I fire my attorney? [Re: palmel1234]
Maury Offline
Carpal \'Tunnel

Registered: 06/02/04
Posts: 8182
Loc: This Asylum --->
That's fine, I simply do not accept your premise that you were a victim of a lawyer. You shopped around for an opinion you wanted to hear . . . much like these boards.

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#615182 - 04/25/10 03:52 AM Re: Should I fire my attorney? [Re: Maury]
peachpitts Offline

recently joined

Registered: 04/25/10
Posts: 1
Yes. You are unsatisfied and your questioning shows your lack of confidence. A lawyer should be professional. I filed a motion to get the germ I live with out and there isn't any physical abuse - just mental. We failed, but our other objective was to at least bring the case to the Court since the germ failed to recognize the divorce for a year. If he had any decency, he would do the right thing and leave for the sake of the kids. His strategy is to prolong and delay and I fear how long this will take. I am very troubled that the Court does not care what the family is going through unless you come in with a black eye and bodily wounds. The germ in my house owns a vacant apartment less than a mile away and still won't leave, even though the duration of the marriage was one in which he lived independently of the kids and I. Now he claims to be "involved". It's a nightmare dealing with a mean, sick person while the kid's lives suffer. Keep fighting and believe in yourself! Get a new lawyer.

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#615183 - 05/06/10 07:17 PM Re: Should I fire my attorney? [Re: peachpitts]
palmel1234 Offline

journeyman

Registered: 03/05/10
Posts: 93
Thanks for understanding, Peach.
I've wound up moving out of the house. It was the only way to save my sanity. I was afraid he wouldn't pay the mortgage, but now he's all worried about his credit so he's paying the mortgage on his own. Funny, he never offered to help pay when I was living there. Now he has to do it all on his own.
Peach, you may have to move out as well. I know it sucks, but sometimes it's just not worth it.
I'm renting an apartment and while money is tight, it's been great not living with a nightmare anymore and the kids don't have to suffer anymore.

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#615184 - 10/11/15 09:13 PM Re: Should I fire my attorney? [Re: palmel1234]
karenann Offline

recently joined

Registered: 10/11/15
Posts: 12
I suspect your case maybe over now? First....you do NOT need bruises for abuse. The Police were very wrong and I would have made a visit to the Superintendant at the Police station. You do not have a " tough case" for abuse. The Police should have arrested him & he would remain in jail for 3 days ( I do not know what State you are in). There are few individuals who " play the abuse card" that is not only wrong it is malicious. Men can also be abused. You can file a PDL, but I suspect your case has now been resolved. You are entitled to respect and to be treated civilly. Never allow anyone to physically, verbally, emotionally or financially abuse you ( financial hostage). I hope your life has improved and you are creating a happy life you could not have with your spouse. Take care.

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