No announcement yet.

Lawyering Up - Any Advice?

This topic is closed.
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Lawyering Up - Any Advice?

    My husband and I have had enough.

    The past 18 months have been horribly stressful on us, due to the actions of my stepson's mother...
    • Bringing a motion of intentional unemployment/underemployment to the Court when my husband lost his job at the peak of the 2009 recession;
    • Bringing a motion that child support should be based on mine and my husband's combined household income;
    • Bringing a motion that my husband pay 50% or proportionate share (whichever is greatest) of daycare expenses, plus 100% of daycare expenses incurred during his court-ordered access;
    • Bringing a motion that my husband disclose his personal information to her, including our mortgage/tenant agreement, medical documentations of status of health, proof of employment termination with listed reasons, etc.;
    • Refusing access due to disagreements with child support;
    • Refusing to provide a consent to travel with passport, despite the court-ordered obligation to do so upon request;
    • Filing inaccurate support orders with FRO;
    • Recently refusing to communicate in the 1 form (written) that has been the practice for over 6 years and which has been recommended by lawyers, mediators, and a court-ordered counselor;
    • Recently developing a profound interest in me - and my income, not to mention my parents - despite spending the past 7 years doing everything in her power not to interact with me;
    • And most recently, filing a statement of arrears in an absurd sum with FRO and demanding they take enforcement action to get her "her money."
    And these are just the "major" issues!

    We have been battling combinations of these issues for 18 months now. Due to our financial situation, we haven't been able to retain a lawyer, and so my husband has been self-representing each of the 4 or 5 court dates to date... getting slaughtered each and every time. (Same judge for all conferences, who will most likely be the same judge at our next conference, if past experience has taught us anything.)

    We have had enough.

    Judging by our personal experience in family court, there is no justice for non-custodial Fathers who want nothing more than to do what's right by the word of the law and abide by the guidelines. Especially when judges have the discretion to make orders as they please.

    We are not in a financial position to retain a lawyer - not even close! - but we see no other choice. My husband simply does not have it in him to self-represent again at the upcoming conference, especially with the aforementioned issues on the table. We hope to get a loan by the end of this month so that we can cover the legal fees.

    In all honestly - I'm sure some of you will agree - I think it is costing us more in the long run, self-representing and having to constantly return to court, than it would cost us to retain an attorney to end it once and for all (hopefully).

    So, our search has begun.

    We are looking for an aggressive, no-bull, this-is-the-law-so-eat-it, type of family lawyer who will hopefully put an end to this insanity.

    If you have any suggestions or advice to offer... please do.

    Yesterday's letter and statement of arrears from FRO has just devastated us. We have hit rock bottom, and need someone to simply pick us back up again.

    Thank you all for your words of wisdom and support.

  • #2
    I think it is a good idea. 18 months is a long time to let this woman run your life. A good lawyer will keep all her crap and only tell you the relevant info, without any of the nastiness. And of course it will scare her!

    Where do you live? (or which court)

    I really hope someone helps you find a kick-ass lawyer!!


    • #3
      Originally posted by billiechic View Post
      Where do you live? (or which court) I really hope someone helps you find a kick-ass lawyer!!
      We live in Peel Region. But the court proceedings take place is Durham (Oshawa). The lawyers we had in the past ranged from Oshawa, to Whitby, to Pickering, to Toronto, to Mississauga. Sadly, only 1 (Mississauga) ever helped accomplish anything, and even that wasn't enough - as we can see.


      • #4
        Go get 'er. Enough crap.

        I spent 9 years with an ex running my life and making me justify everything I did. I eventually looked her in the eyes and said "Now, THAT'S the exact reason you are an EX".

        Good luck and remember one important issue .. you want a result NOT revenge. Revenge will come along with the end result.


        • #5
          Originally posted by Gary_P View Post
          Good luck and remember one important issue .. you want a result NOT revenge. Revenge will come along with the end result.
          Thanks Gary. We certainly don't want revenge. That is something she aims for - and often gets - but all we want is what is just. We want to follow the letter of the law, abide by the guidelines, and live our life free of her nastiness (hence, written communication only).


          • #6
            if you get a lwyer then you can insist that all communication go through them. Just make sure your lawyer agrees that all communication recieved will be sent to you immediately.


            • #7
              Hi billiechic, sorry but I think demanding that all communication go through their lawyer is probably a bad idea as they will be billed for all time spent and given her vindictive nature she'd probably up the ante and start calling every hour just to spite them. Your best bet #1 is to continue to do as much yourselves as possible and only use the lawyer when necessary (ie court appearances).


              • #8
                true, true.


                • #9
                  Well, we wouldn't want for all communications to go through the lawyer. It would get quite costly... been there, done that, got the t-shirt. (And the debts of legal fees to go with it!)

                  We just need a lawyer to help straighten her out a little... as in "you can't do this, it's unreasonable for you to expect this, start behaving appropriately, etc." My husband has said this to her many times, and she just doesn't believe it. So we hope that maybe coming from a lawyer, she would get the hint.

                  Hopefully someone will soon reply with some suggestions of good lawyers to see about this issue.


                  • #10

                    We used him to get the spousal support calculations and advice. He's kind of expensive, but pretty down to earth. When we explained to him about what ex-wife was demanding he said, "Oh...she's playing lawyer is she? I would never pretend to be a sales manager, so why is she pretending to be a lawyer?" Funny guy...

                    He's downtown Toronto.

                    Good luck!


                    • #11
                      I don't have any lawyer reccomendations but I don't blame you for going down the road of hiring one - I think you need it!

                      I found my lawyer through recommendations from friends/co-workers. My lawyer is not a pitbull though - sometimes I wish she was more aggressive but she's definatly not *new* and I think it helped that she has been around at least 20 years and knows most other lawyers and judges


                      • #12
                        Thanks for your suggestions and support.

                        After speaking with my husband this evening, we're weighing the pros and cons of a lawyer we had retained in the past. He wasn't very aggressive and didn't quite understand the complexity of our situation at first... but he is the only lawyer we have ever retained that got something accomplished - a fairly comprehensive custody and support order.

                        We liked him because he was very down-to-earth and we felt comfortable speaking freely and openly to him about our situation.

                        The pros of retaining him again would be that he is already somewhat knowledgeable of our case (which depends on how much he remembers... it's been 2 years) and he practices at a firm just up the street from our home.

                        The cons are that he's not as aggressive and intimidating/respectable-looking as we would like.

                        He used to work at Dad Law, but now works at Heydary Hamilton PC.

                        Would anyone happen to have any experience with Heydary Hamilton PC?


                        • #13
                          Ask around

                          Well my advice in terms of lawyers would be to ask around to friends and family that live in the area. After four years and two lawyers I finally have some closure. The first lawyer I had was not creative, appeared tough and talked alot but got nothing accomplished.....and I paid thousands of dollars.

                          The second lawyer wrapped everything up in six months. She was creative, thought outside the box, bright etc. In fact at the last court appearance they locked us in the court house and she was not leaving until we did have things wrapped up well spent. This lawyer was a friends neighbour.......and she went over knocked on the door and pleaded my case. She was not taking any new clients but agreed to give me an hour. In any event she took me on......and yes it was not cheap....but she was able to move things forward and was a great negotiator so I got what I wanted but she made it feel like a win win situation.

                          I would definitely ask around. Friends and family will give you the real scoop.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by stressedby-X View Post
                            I would definitely ask around. Friends and family will give you the real scoop.
                            Hi Stressed. I'm glad things finally worked out for you. Congrats!

                            We tried asking around... but given our young age, we don't have any friends who are in a similar situation as us. We also don't like to "air our dirty laundry" to coworkers. My husband and I also have no history of divorce in our families, so family isn't a great help there.

                            So any "asking around" we do is on forums such as this.


                            • #15
                              On the Right Track

                              I wouldn't worry about airing dirty laundry......I did the same thing and picked the only lawyer who I didn't know in town out of the phone book I bet there are more people than you know who are in the same boat.....but when it happens to you it only feels like you.

                              This forum is a great source of information.....I was at things four years! Lots of back and forth goes on....and much of it is scare tactics and posturing....and yes it does work especially if you are representing yourself.

                              Since you have posted your location I'll keep my fingers crossed for some good leads. Also check out financials to see whether of not any of your legal fees would be able to be claimed on income tax. This may be helpful this year or next. Line 232.


                              Our Divorce Forums
                              Forums dedicated to helping people all across Canada get through the separation and divorce process, with discussions about legal issues, parenting issues, financial issues and more.