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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 12-05-2006, 12:29 AM
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Unhappy Lost and not sure what to do

Hi everyone:

I have another problem and I don't know what to do.
My lawyer was suppose to be in court on Friday for a motion for Child Support and to ask a judge to grant me my divorce. (We have been fighting for this divorce for over three years)

I found out today that it was adjourned AGAIN. This is the third time that they have adjourned it and they didn't even set a new date.

My lawyer explained to me that she was just too busy to attend court because she was in trial all day Thursday and some of Friday (with the same lawyer that my ex has - but on a seperate file) She assured me that since she is talking to my ex's lawyer almost on a daily basis that she will be able to talk to the ex's lawyer and they will try to settle my file and this divorce without involving the courts. So my lawyer decided to postpone the motion.
This has been going on for months. They just keep postponing everything.

Let me back up alittle bit.
There is another lawyer that is holding the money from trust in an account.
My ex and his lawyer agreed to give me my half of the share of the money, and we would fight for the remaining money (which I believe should be mine due to back child and spousal support) It was almost all settled that the money would be released, (my share) when FRO did a writ of seizure against the money being held in trust against my ex. (He owes over eleven thousand dollars in arrears) My lawyer agreed that the money should be released to FRO, but my ex's lawyer is refusing to allow the other lawyer to release the money to FRO.

The writ of seizure was made October 26, 2006.
Since the writ of seizure was issued, my ex's lawyer decided NOT to go ahead and give me my share of the money being held in trust. And he refuses to allow the other lawyer to release the money that FRO has demanded.

My lawyer however is doing NOTHING about any of this. Since this has happened, motions have been adjourned, she doesn't return my phone calls etc....

Today I left her a voice mail message begging her to call me. When she did, she told me that she was not going to rush on getting me any of money, just so that I can buy my kids Christmas presents.
I have tried to explain to her that I NEED the money, to pay off debts, to fix my car, to pay the bills that are overdue.

She responded with, you will have to be patient. I can;'t make anyone do anything. And then told me that someone would call me back in awhile to set up a telephone appointment.

So I have a telephone appointment with her tomorrow - but I don't know what to do. I don't understand why they keep postponing everything. She says it's because they are trying to reach an agreement, but I have heard this song and dance for the last year. A year ago she promised me that she would finish this up.... and she is still has yet to do anything, except postpone everything.

What are my options here?
Do I call FRO and if yes... what do i tell them?
How do I respond to my lawyer tomorrow?
Is there anything I should say... or do?

I'm lost and I don't know what to do anymore
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Old 12-05-2006, 08:08 AM
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Fresh Starts,

That is a horrible situation to be in. By the sounds of it, your lawyer asked for the adjournment this time.

There is not much you can do midway through a motion. Your lawyer has put you in a vulnerable position. If you fired your lawyer at this point, it would take months to straighten the matter out with a new lawyer causing even more delays. Best to stay the course and follow through with the motion.

Your lawyer is somewhat right, you really can't make anyone do something. Hence the need to take action with the motion. It does not make sense to procrastinate on the issues in a hope of settling or agreement out of court. I would definitely convey to your lawyer that you are unhappy. No more adjournment. Get the matter moving.

If it was me, I would , ASK the lawyer for a LOAN to cover the current shortfall.


lv
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Old 12-05-2006, 09:38 AM
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LV

Do I call FRO and tell them that the ex's lawyer is refusing to allow the other lawyer that is holding the money to release the money that is being held in trust? It is my understanding that lawyers can get fined for things like this.

My lawyer has stated clearly that she will not rush on getting me any money. Especially for something as "petty" as Christmas. With this statement I have to assume that she will not "lend" me any money.

And is there anyone that I can complain to in regards to the way my lawyer has treated my case and file? My lawyer promised me over a year ago to settle this file.

Thanks in advance
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Old 12-05-2006, 01:24 PM
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Default re: lost and not sure what to do

Fresh Starts,

Hi. Sounds like you are having an awful time.

You asked if there is somewhere that you can complain about your lawyer. You can file a complaint against your lawyer in writing with the Law Society of Upper Canada (www.lsuc.on.ca). However, in doing so you may risk being put in the position legalvolovicty mentioned -- having to hire a new lawyer and causing even further delays.

If you want to keep your current lawyer you may not want to file a complaint just yet. Although a lawyer shouldn't dump you for filing a complaint with the Law Society, your lawyer may say that there has been a breakdown in the solicitor-client relationship and therefore she has the ability to end the relationship and possibly "fire" you as her client.

Perhaps you can get your lawyer to commit to getting certain steps done within a set time limit. For example, write up a schedule for your the next few steps of your case. If she commits to these dates then you can confirm them in writing to her. If she won't commit to your dates, negotiate with her to set a reasonable schedule.

There are certain standards by which a lawyer should operate. You can find these standards in the Rules of Professional Conduct on the Law Society's website.

Good luck!
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Old 12-05-2006, 03:13 PM
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I know i may sound terrible but the best thing at this point of time is to change your lawyer.
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Old 12-05-2006, 07:37 PM
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Default Lawyer called

My lawyer called me late this afternoon, to tell me that she was able to get in touch with my STBX's lawyer.

This is what she told me.
1. That my STBX has an appointment with his lawyer this Thursday.

2. At that time my STBX's lawyer is going to request to my STBX that he should agree to release the money that FRO has demanded ($10,000) (There has been a writ of seizure and a garnishment from FRO to the lawyer that is holding the money in trust- My lawyer has agreed to let the lawyer holding the money to release it to me.... but it has been 36 days and the STBX and his lawyer is saying that they won't agree) My lawyer has stated that she will know on Thursday if my STBX will allow his lawyer to give permission to do this. (Why is it up to my EX to decide if I get this or not??)

3. My lawyer has informed me that I should call her late Thursday aternoon if I want information if the STBX and his lawyer has agreed to do this.

4. She also states that we will take care of the remaining money ($18,000) at a later date. When I have no clue..... she hasn't told me

5. She then informed me that there is a chance that they won't agree to release the money (The 10,000)

6. And has told me that she doesn't believe that I will be able to get the remaining $18,000 without a fight .... ( Originally $28,000 was put in trust from the sale of the house... we were suppose to split the proceeds in 1/2.... $14,000 each ..... but the STBX did not pay for Child and Spousal Support for 8 months when I left the family home....almost $13,000 (I can still go back and ask for this still compared to the court documents....) he's also is in arrears with FRO for over $12,000 - due to the fact that he lost his job a few months ago and has not paid me support... except for 1/2 of his E.I check.)

7. She then informed me that my divorce should go thru on December 15 and that I will have to do the CPP credit split on my own.

My first priorty at this time is to get the money that FRO has demanded so I can pay off outstanding bills, etc....
But I don't know what to do after that... or what to do if the STBX does not agree to release the money.

Any ideas?



Waterworld:
Can I file a complaint after everything is settled...... ?
I don't want to change lawyers because then everything will take forever and day to get done.
I was promised a year ago that she was going to finish my file and close it....instead for a whole year, I have had NOTHING done, except throw money away on Motions etc..... (Only to have the motion be cancelled) Things have only gotten worse in the last year.... not better.

If anyone has any ideas.... please let me know.
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Old 12-05-2006, 08:04 PM
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Default Re: lost and not sure what to do

Fresh start:

You can file a complaint after your case is done, just keep a record of everything you want to complain about. I believe there is no limitation on when you can file your complaint. You would probably just have to explain why you waited to complain (i.e. it would have made your lawyer mad, caused delays and cost too much money to hire a new lawyer).

Also, when you are finished your case, you can have your lawyer's bill assessed by the court, within a certain time period. (I'm not sure if Legal Aid lawyer bills can be assessed) An assessment officer reviews the bill to determine if the fees are appropriate for the services provided and the quality of work performed (i.e. you are paying for her to show up at court and adjourn matters because she is too busy, etc.). The downfall of this is that if the assessment officer finds her bill to be reasonable, the officer may award her costs for attending the assessment.
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Old 12-06-2006, 12:23 AM
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Fresh Starts,

It appears your lawyer side tracked you again, that being when is the date of the motion to pursue the support issues. Perhaps on Thursday you will find out.

If it was me, I would wait till at least Thursday before involving the FRO to take enforcement action to collect arrears against the other parties share of the monies held in trust.

Family Responsibility and Support Arrears Enforcement Act, 1996

S.O. 1996, CHAPTER 31

http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/DBLaws/S...f31_e.htm#BK62

Realizing on security

(19) An order for security under clause (10) (e) or a subsequent order of the court may provide for the realization of the security by seizure, sale or other means, as the court directs. 2005, c. 16, s. 24.



lv
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