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Author Topic: Our attorney just fired us midway through- advice?  (Read 2889 times)

TiredX3

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Our attorney just fired us midway through- advice?
« on: May 05, 2009, 09:56:08 AM »
I have a 16 yo stepdaughter whose every minute of visitation has been litigated for the last 14 years.  We stopped getting visitation last summer because she refused to come & the mother said it was up to her.  We chose not to force her to visit by filing for contempt of the existing order because she is 16 & we felt this would only alienate her further.   We do still ask for her to come at every visitation period and let her know she is always welcome and that we would gladly come visit her if she wanted us to. We have had the same attorney for 7 years and the same court for the last 10 years.  Her mother filed for a change of jurisdiction & our attorney told us we didn't need to be at the hearing (we live far away) because it was a legal matter not requiring testimony.  Her mother refused to give any inkling of why she would want a change of jurisdiction (she gets her substantial child support direct deposit & there is no visitation, so she is basically in her ideal situation).  We don't know what she's up to.  The judge granted her change of jurisdiction & we told our attorney we'd like to appeal because we weren't there to tell our side of the story & she was.  Our attorney said there was nothing more he could do for us & fired us.  The mother was at the hearing and apparently said several things that weren't true, and we're worried she told our attorney something that wasn't true and that's the reason he fired us.  He won't communicate with us.  It's extremely unprofessional in my opinion.  So now we have no attorney to appeal the case in the place it's been for the last 10 years.  We didn't want to change jurisdiction because it's been in the same place for the last 10 years and the courts there are well aware of the antics of the mother.  Now with less than 2 years to go we are going to have start again in a new court with a new attorney.  To add to the worry we have no idea what the mother is up to- more money is the only thing we can guess, but neither she nor her attorney will talk to us about what she wants.  I'm sure we'll spend thousands more dollars on court & attorneys over the next 2 years, when we'd rather she just tell us what she wants.  She currently gets more than the state guidelines for child support & her state is a state in which child support ends at 18 so we don't know how it can be about money.  Her mother has already "won" in the most important thing, in successfully alienating her child.  We don't want to go to court anymore.  We never win, it only hurts the child & us.


MomofTwo

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Re: Our attorney just fired us midway through- advice?
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2009, 10:00:45 AM »
Where were the orignal orders from and does anyone still reside in that area? state?
 

TiredX3

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Re: Our attorney just fired us midway through- advice?
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2009, 10:12:44 AM »
Original orders were in Virginia & have now been moved to another county in Virginia.  At the time of the order everyone lived in the same place.  We moved to follow the mother a few times & be close to the child but after the judge refused time after time to stop a move by the mother we gave up following her.  We don't live in Virginia any more.  The only reason for the order to explicitly state no change of jurisidiction regardless of moves by either party is because the mother had "forum shopped" for other jurisdictions before & because of the long history of the case there.   We don't know what was said in the hearing to change the judge's mind because our attorney won't communicate with us.

Giggles

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Re: Our attorney just fired us midway through- advice?
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2009, 12:07:56 PM »
I do believe it's possible to get the transcripts of the hearing...that way at least you know what was said??
 
If I were in your shoes...I would try not to worry too much about what the mother was doing...if she is already getting above guidline amount for CS...she may shoot herself in the foot by trying to get an increase.  Many judges will only grant guideline...who knows...you may get a CS reduction???
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MomofTwo

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Re: Our attorney just fired us midway through- advice?
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2009, 12:19:27 PM »
You can get transcripts, but I don't know that an appeal would be successful.
If neither party resides in the original area and Mom/child still reside in the original  state and NCP does not, jurisdiction would then follow the child.


TiredX3

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Re: Our attorney just fired us midway through- advice?
« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2009, 04:39:52 PM »
I do believe it's possible to get the transcripts of the hearing...that way at least you know what was said??

If I were in your shoes...I would try not to worry too much about what the mother was doing...if she is already getting above guidline amount for CS...she may shoot herself in the foot by trying to get an increase.  Many judges will only grant guideline...who knows...you may get a CS reduction???

For us it's more about the hassle of going back to court, the refusal to speak with us at all (we've always been forthcoming and provided any financial information necessary), finding a new attorney, traveling to the hearings, etc.  That's great to know we could get a transcript.  I'm not sure we have strength to sit and read the lies that were told at the moment but it might be useful for posterity.

Thanks!

MixedBag

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Re: Our attorney just fired us midway through- advice?
« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2009, 07:03:03 AM »
I agree -- get a transcript.  It might also come in the form of an audio tape, or a video disk.
 
As for the subject at hand.....here's honestly what I'm also getting out of this.
 
1.  The fact that you want jurisdiction to stay in the same county is probably a loosing battle and since you want your attorney to appeal that could be a reason they've thrown their hands up.
 
See -- IMHO and as I understand the law, if neither parent lives in the original jurisdiction, then the custodial parent with the child can file for jurisdiction to be moved to where the child lives.  Believe me, I understand the desire for the court to understand and know the history, and that actually brings me to my second point or observation.
 
2.  It really sounds like Dad hasn't made any real progress in court over the years.  And if the child is 16, it's really gonna take support and push from the custodial parent too to encourage the child to travel and maintain a relationship with both parents.
 
Lastly, get yourself a copy of "Divorce Poison" -- easily found on E-bay.  Read it backwards and forwards, inside and out and then decide how you want to move forward.

 

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