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Main Forums => Dear Socrateaser => Topic started by: gumdropgirl on Jan 08, 2007, 04:43:28 PM

Title: Attorneys and Misc. Questions
Post by: gumdropgirl on Jan 08, 2007, 04:43:28 PM
My attorney is refusing to press the issue of the CP's noncompliance with a request for production. I plan on obtaining the documents that were requested by other means, however I find my attorney's reasons for not wanting to push for them (not wanting to ruffle the feathers of OC because of having that attorney as GAL for some of her other cases) ridiculous, and I want an attorney that has my best interests at heart.

1) What is the procedure for releasing your attorney and retaining another one? (in New Mexico)

2) When I mail CP my child support payments, does it matter legally if my significant other signs the checks and the enclosure notice?

3) It is standard for an attorney to not want to act on one case because of other pending cases they have? Is this ethical?

Thank you so much!
Title: RE: Attorneys and Misc. Questions
Post by: socrateaser on Jan 08, 2007, 06:47:28 PM
>1) What is the procedure for releasing your attorney and
>retaining another one? (in New Mexico)

The easiest way is to say, "You're fired." But, I wouldn't recommend it for you. I would write a letter to the attorney stating that you understand his/her stated rationale for not wanting to compel production due to opposing counsel acting as a neutral investigator in other cases which your attorney is involved. However, you believe that this is a direct conflict of interest, and therefore, that the attorney must (this is NOT OPTIONAL), either file the motion to compel, or withdraw from your case immediately. And, that if he/she chooses the latter option, that you will have no choice but to complain to the state regulatory agency about his/her violation of the rules of professional conduct.

Then, if your attorney doesn't file the motion, then you complain and meanwhile find another lawyer.

Believe me, if your attorney receives a letter from you stating that you are acknowledging his/her telling you about a conflict of interest, the attorney will be dancing on the head of a pin, because he/she will know that there's big trouble ahead, which could include suspension/disbarrment and/or malpractice.

What you're describing is a very serious ethical and competency violation.

>2) When I mail CP my child support payments, does it matter
>legally if my significant other signs the checks and the
>enclosure notice?

Yes. Don't do it. I don't even want to start with the explanations as to why this is a bad idea. You owe the support, so you pay the support.

>3) It is standard for an attorney to not want to act on one
>case because of other pending cases they have? Is this

See #1 above.
Title: A few more questions
Post by: gumdropgirl on Jan 09, 2007, 10:50:21 AM
A friend proposed the idea to me of offering the CP a one-time lump sum payment in lieu of monthly child support payments. Not that I have the 55k that I will pay for the remainder of the time that the child is a minor just laying around, but if CP would take a one-time settlement of about 60% of that I could finance the amount for half the time it would take for my child to reach majority and still have a significant savings. Currently our order does not go by the state requirements, it's a mutually agreed upon amount.

1) Is that legally possible?

2) Could it be done via a stipulated order if so?

3) Could the cost of health insurance be included in the lump sum payment if so?

Thank you so much for your time.
Title: RE: A few more questions
Post by: socrateaser on Jan 09, 2007, 11:27:28 AM
>1) Is that legally possible?


Any agreement between parents to permanently bargain away their child's right to child support is void as against public policy. This means that if you and the other parent agree to a lump sum payment, and then tomorrow you hit a $100 million Powerball(r) lottery, the other parent can return to court and ask for an increase in support to reflect your new enhanced earning capacity, and the court will not enforce your prior agreed support amount.

The present monthly payment value of the $55K would be offset against your new calculated support obligation and you would be ordered to pay the difference. Meanwhile, if you were to go back to court and request a downward mod, due, for example, to your becoming permanently disabled and unemployable, the court would refuse to give you a refund of any of the $55K, because while you have no right to bargain away the child's right to support, you do have the right to bargain away your own money, which is what you will have done.

As another example, consider what would happen were you to pay out the $55K today, and tomorrow your child dies in a car crash. $55K for one day's child support is a pretty sweet deal, no?

In sum, prepaying child support is a bad plan no matter how you work it.* You would be better off to borrow the money and invest it, and then use the income and principal from the investment to pay the support. That way you retain control over the money until it's due and payable.

*Well, there "is" one way that you could concievably substantially eliminate your child support obligation via a personal loan followed by Chapter 7 bankruptcy. However, if you intended this result in advance and were discovered, that would be both bankruptcy and federal bank fraud, and you would be headed straight to jail, do not pass go do not collect $200. So, I can't recommend this route.