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Divorce & Family Law This forum is for discussing any of the legal issues involved in your divorce.

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Old 02-12-2012, 12:30 PM
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Default Lawyer (are you getting your money's worth)

I'm sure there is probably a post about this already that I can't find.

To use a lawyer or not? What do you think? Is it worth it? Have you gotten your money's worth? Would you have been able to settle with ex better without one?

So far I have spent over $2000 in one month...We haven't started proceedings yet so I can't really say whether it will be worth it. However, I feel less worried that he will take full custody. I guess I got peice of mind for my $2000. Also whenever I have met with the lawyer I feel 100 times better than I did when I went in. Usually after getting some sort of threat from the ex.

I have heard cases of people spending 50,000 to try and change the arrangment (to get more time with their children) just to have status quo rule and nothing changed.
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Old 02-12-2012, 01:17 PM
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I'm still in the middle of the process, but I found the lawyer's experience to be priceless. A good lawyer you can trust (i.e. not a runaway money train to trial), will put things into perspective and tell you what is worth fighting for and what is not. In my case, it made a whole lot of financial difference by including an inheritance I had dismissed (based on wrong info) and by not letting me settle for what I had originally offered, which would have been a terrible decision (I wouldn't have had money for old age)... A good lawyer will let you see the long term, not only the short-term results and they have connections to experts (actuaries etc). If money is tight and you can handle things/research/dealing with ex/with ex's lawyer etc... then find a lawyer who offers unbundled services, who will guide you in your work. Good luck (the amount of paperwork is overwhelming but this forum provides help and guidance) - and as a final note, only you know your ex and whether negotiations can work... From your post "Usually after getting some sort of threat from the ex.", I'd say you're in for a ride.... And as 2nd final/final note, I look at the lawyer's fee as a necessary investment, just make sure to cover all angles in your agreement, and project yourself in the future when the situation may change (new partners, kids off to university etc)
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Old 02-12-2012, 03:34 PM
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Thanks Torontonian! I think I have a fairly good lawyer, she is very ethical. The ex happened to just call and he just obtained a lawyer. He was being polite! I think it may have something to do with the lawyer..not too sure. He was actually somewhat admitting that it's a control issue. Wow...never thought I'd see the day...I hope this mean progress.
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Old 02-12-2012, 03:56 PM
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I do hope this good behaviour continues... I'd recommend some reading so you know what you are/will be facing with the ex... Anything about controlling people and/or Borderline Personality Disorder (for me: BPD Central - SPLITTING: Protecting Yourself While Divorcing a Borderline or Narcissist went a long way...) The Public Library is your best friend
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Old 02-12-2012, 07:56 PM
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If you have a good lawyer that you feel comfortable with, then that's worth it - every penny. Going it alone is not easy. Very stressful and the time you will spend and the running around will have you ragged in no time. My eyesight got worse quickly (when I self-rep'd for a short while), I slept very poorly, lost way too much weight, and I was a bag of nerves. Ask your lawyer to keep you informed of the costs and also ask if there's anything you can do (make copies, file docs w/the court, whatever) to keep your costs down. Wouldn't hurt to ask.

Litigation often made me feel like a complete nervous wreck in the beginning. I didn't know if I was coming or going and quickly became way too absorbed w/all my "new duties" - I'm no lawyer! If you can keep your lawyer, definitely do so.
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Old 02-12-2012, 07:58 PM
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Torontonian: thx for the book title! I could have used that. Will look it up. And you are so right - the library does have some excellent resources.
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Old 02-12-2012, 08:22 PM
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Glad I could finally pay a little forward all the help I've gotten (directly or by reading others' posts) on this forum
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Old 02-12-2012, 08:31 PM
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JD: yes, so much better w/ the lawyers communicating rather than you and the ex. Torontonian: thx again and there is so much great advice and support on here. We all need to help one another and this site is a great forum to share experiences, situations, and lessons learned the hard way. As well, it is a stark reminder that there are so many people going through very difficult times. It does help to know that, on many levels. I regret that I didn't access this info (or even know about it!) when my troubles were first brewing. I fell into a black hole for so long it seems, and I'm just glad that after what seems like a lot of torture, there is hope of navigating through the darkness and finding "light."
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Old 02-12-2012, 09:36 PM
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thanks torontonian and hadenough.
I am definitely going to check that out! I can't imagine doing it on my own, there is way too much to learn. I am already a ball of nerves. Well, some days better than others but I now know what anxiety really is. The racing heart, hard to breath...I've never had it until now. Every drop off and pickup I feel ill to my stomach waiting for what my ex or his family will say or do. I just hope that not too much damage has been done and that one day we can all get along. It's a rollercoaster ride and I am glad to have this forum for advice because objective opinions are the best.
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Old 02-13-2012, 12:41 AM
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If you can be "civil" to each other, it will already be a success. Don't hesitate to look after yourself too, you need to keep it together for a long time. It is simply too easy to give in when too tired. And cutting the "cord" with the ex is very hard to do, but once done, it is a huge relief not to have that stress (Repeat: it's the ex' problem, NOT MINE...). Actually I have found that having a little voice recorder in my pocket alleviates the fear whenever I need to cross path with the ex...
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