Wednesday, May 18, 2011

I FEEL AT A LOSS

Today was good.

Mostly.

I ate well.

I played with my girls.

I spoke to MRC but they didn't give me an answer yet.

I rested.

But in the middle of the day the girls' dad texted me about the money I owe him from the 2010 tax refund. I in turn asked him about the money he owes me from April and May child support payments.

You see I have the money to give him and for a while my lawyer has been trying to arrange an exchange of checks with his attorney. His attorney was (until today) quite unresponsive and my attorney told me that if I wanted I could try to exchange the checks just between him and me or I could ask him if it would okay if I subtracted the amount he owes me from the amount I owe him. (Yes, we got a very large tax refund)

I asked him at the time that he texted me if I could subtract the child support from the money I was going to give him and he said, absolutely not. He wanted the check in its complete amount. I asked him how I would know that he would turn around and give me my child support and he told me, because I'm not like you. I told him that we needed to do this as easily as possible and since his lawyer isn't talking to him or my lawyer that this was the easiest route to avoid more court dates. He not only declined once again but told me he was going to sue me for 2009's money also. Uh, ok. We had spent that together and I am pretty sure it is irrelevant in the current matter, but his threat was enough to shake me. I told him that no money would be exchanged, then, until our attorney's talked.

2 hours later I receive an e-mail from my attorney with an attachment. UGH! Not more paperwork. But no, to my relief it was not paperwork. It was his lawyer's official document stating that he was withdrawing his services to my girls' dad and the matter (the matter being our divorce)

I don't know what to think.

Why would a lawyer withdraw his services? Did my ex not pay him? Is he really as crooked a lawyer as we were starting to suspect?

I am literally at a loss.

We are at a pivotal part of the divorce. I was ordered by the courts to take a class called Parents Forever which is a class that teaches parents how to help children cope with divorce. That's fine. I'm wondering though when my girls' dad thinks he is going to take the classes though. The 90 day waiting period for Washington State divorces is June 24. The temporary custody order was set for 60 days which ends June 11. He is supposed to be done taking or currently taking the same class as me plus one that I requested he take that is a weekly class for 6-8 weeks. So far he has signed up for neither.

And now he no longer has legal assistance.

See, I'm all for getting things the way I want them . . . but I'm not the kind of person who likes to throw another person under the bus. When he had an attorney (no matter how whacked out the attorney he chose was) it felt like we were on an even playing field. Now . . . not so much and I don't want to be seen as the person who manipulates a sensitive situation.

Why do I think it's sensitive?

Because he has never been a proactive person. In fact, I was surprised when he found legal aid and then laughed when I found out one of the girls he worked with found it for him. He doesn't know how to investigate or find out information for himself. When we were together I did everything for him, from little things like calling to order pizza to huge things like documents to secure his residency when it was no longer my job to do so.

I don't know . . . as the title states, I'm a little bit at a loss.

And the clincher . . . I don't think he will even know he has lost his attorney until it is really late. I doubt his attorney will call to tell him and if his mail opening habits are at all like they used to be then he won't get the letter for between 2-5 weeks.

I guess I'll just have to wait and see what happens.

I'm tired of this and I'm ready for it to be over.

So ready.

Kristen

10 comments :

  1. My thoughts go out to you and your children. I can't imagine how stressful this is for you and the fact you are still staying strong is so inspiring to me. Especially because I've been worrying about pettier things recently and feeling derailed.

    I hope everything works out and the divorce is quick and as painless as possible. I like the idea of the parenting course being mandatory.

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  2. You should definitely subtract the amount of back-support from the money that you owe him.

    (Obviously with your lawyer's OK on it) but I don not think you need to ask your ex for permission to do so.

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  3. You are the Mom, you have always looked out for the kids, dont stop now

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  4. Seriously ? You have a moments thought about providing for your children ? You never did before, why stop now. Take out 100% of what is past due, and take out June and July, based on the fact he has no money for future payments. In the real world, keep all the money, subtract his past and future child support from the split, and keep it all for the kids. Your goal is to provide for your children.

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  5. Possibly his lawyer withdrew his services not because he (the lawyer) was a jerk, but because your ex was being a jerk. My own ex had the same thing happen. Hold on to the money until it's sorted out by YOUR attorney.

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  6. Something's not right, that's for sure. The fact that he's trying to turn the tables on you and make it sound like you wouldn't return the money makes it sound like he's projecting. He has no intention of returning any of that money to you. Especially not 2009 (which is ridiculous of him to ask for anyway).

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  7. Your soon to be ex is not cooperating with his lawyer which is causing harm and delay to the representation; which means your husband is being forthcoming with information and responsibilities and possibly not paying either. A lawyer can't easily withdraw unless it is something really egregious on behalf of the client or the attorney is unable to competently represent the client.

    I wish you well.

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  8. I think your soon-to-be-ex was told by his lawyer that he was removing himself and then the letters were sent making it official. I think he already knows! AND...he's simply going to have to get another lawyer. Dont feel badly for him!
    AND, I do think you have the right to subtract what he owes you yourself. Double-check with your lawyer before you do so, but, seriously do so!

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  9. With the caveat that I am not giving you legal advice, that I am not actively licensed to practice law in the state of Washington, and that I do not practice in the area of family law: Rosa is absolutely correct. It is not easy for an attorney to withdraw his/her representation of a client. This tends to be particularly true in a legal aid situation. You said your ex's lawyer was slimy because he was out for your ex's blood. I think nearly everyone who has left you comments has agreed that your ex has a seriously impaired sense of reality. I would think that any lawyer that represents him would be mainly concerned with stopping the hemorrhaging of the stupid. Everything you've said he's asked for is out of the realm of possibility and you have the evidence to back that up. IMHO he's a father in only the biological sense. Any attorney with sense would try to get at least the basics (fair child support payments -- although those are on a schedule, some visitation) but beyond that your ex is SOL and an attorney would know that.

    I can't say for sure what the judge is going to do because I don't work in this area of the law, but your ex's conduct isn't going to keep the divorce from happening. It's not like he can cover his eyes and plug his ears saying nyah nyah nyah you can't see me and that will stop it all. It's funny that he is older than you yet you are worlds more mature :)

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  10. Have the lawyer and judge decide about the check. I would not give him the whole amount. You won't see a dime. I do not trust him. Why do you still trust him?

    Forget about HIS issues. His issues aren't yours. Yours are yours. Deal with your lawyer and through your lawyer. Ask them to make the exchange in a legal manner that makes sure you get your cut. Do not worry about hubby's lawyer. It's his job to get one, not yours. Sever your loyalties. You will soon not be his wife legally, so stop being his wife now mentally/emotionally and in deed. You are a woman and mother now, not a wife.

    Remember to cover your own butt and bases. If you want to see that child support, make sure the check is not handed to him without some legal intervention. I don't know how that is done, so ask your counsel on it.

    Document EVERYTHING Print the texts. Keep a journal of Q&As. Make a photocopy of the check (if it's legal to do so). Everything. Keep documentation and records for when shit hits the fan, since given your ex-hubby's track record, it will, repeatedly.

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