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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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  #11  
Old 11-06-2012, 06:30 PM
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I recall being where you were at the start of my separation/divorce. I was extremely anxious as I had no idea of the process and the maneuvering that would ensue. The lawyer I hired was only in his 30s and rather green at the time. I could have afforded someone who billed higher but I had heard horror stories about huge legal bills and didn't think that was necessary as I had all the documentation I required to deal with any issues that could arise. My lawyer has told me often that he appreciated how well-organized I was.

I think a big problem that people have is that they lie to their lawyers or, rather, lie by omission. Then the lawyer has to deal with the fallout. My ex continues to do this and it back fires on him each and every time. The facts he tries to present are either irrelevant or simply unsubstantiated. A colossal waste of money is all it comes down to.

If you have a lawyer who sticks to the rules and is confident that helps. If your lawyer doesn't stoop to dirty tactics then that is good as well. I can recall wishing my lawyer was a bit less rigid with the rules but in the end I can see it was well worth it. The old-style aggressive, histrionic old courtroom lawyer simply doesn't wash today. The new young lawyers of today are savy and sometimes more hands-on with their cases as they don't rely so much on secretaries and tend to do documents up themselves on their own computers. I like being able to sit across from my lawyer as he drafts up a document with my direct input. We don't meet very often (usually only once before a court case for my signature) but he is quite adept at emailing things to me which I really appreciate.

You are smart to keep an eye on the clock when you meet with your lawyer as I am quite sure the lawyer knows to the minute how long they spend with you. Don't short-change yourself in getting information specific to your plan of action (short and long term) as the way you approach things today can likely pave the way for you in the future.

Good luck and go now and do something nice for yourself.
  #12  
Old 11-06-2012, 06:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlienatedDad View Post
.... and has lied or exaggerated facts to the custody evaluator, in her affidavits, etc. This I want to come out, but don't want to go through the emotional and financial expense of a trial.
I would think that may be to your advantage, if introduced as evidence at trial. If they are all lies and exaggerations she will have no proof to offer, being it never happened.
Judge will then dismiss them and duly note that she's a liar.
  #13  
Old 11-06-2012, 08:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arabian View Post
I recall being where you were at the start of my separation/divorce. I was extremely anxious as I had no idea of the process and the maneuvering that would ensue. The lawyer I hired was only in his 30s and rather green at the time. I could have afforded someone who billed higher but I had heard horror stories about huge legal bills and didn't think that was necessary as I had all the documentation I required to deal with any issues that could arise. My lawyer has told me often that he appreciated how well-organized I was.

I think a big problem that people have is that they lie to their lawyers or, rather, lie by omission. Then the lawyer has to deal with the fallout. My ex continues to do this and it back fires on him each and every time. The facts he tries to present are either irrelevant or simply unsubstantiated. A colossal waste of money is all it comes down to.

If you have a lawyer who sticks to the rules and is confident that helps. If your lawyer doesn't stoop to dirty tactics then that is good as well. I can recall wishing my lawyer was a bit less rigid with the rules but in the end I can see it was well worth it. The old-style aggressive, histrionic old courtroom lawyer simply doesn't wash today. The new young lawyers of today are savy and sometimes more hands-on with their cases as they don't rely so much on secretaries and tend to do documents up themselves on their own computers. I like being able to sit across from my lawyer as he drafts up a document with my direct input. We don't meet very often (usually only once before a court case for my signature) but he is quite adept at emailing things to me which I really appreciate.

You are smart to keep an eye on the clock when you meet with your lawyer as I am quite sure the lawyer knows to the minute how long they spend with you. Don't short-change yourself in getting information specific to your plan of action (short and long term) as the way you approach things today can likely pave the way for you in the future.

Good luck and go now and do something nice for yourself.
Thanks arabian. Good advice. I am going to talk to my lawyer ASAP. She basically said that the settlement conference doesn't require any evidence, so there is nothing we really have to get together. Basically we need a (realistic) wish list to present to the judge.

I have said that I would follow the high road throughout all of this process, and this is exactly what I have tried to do. If what I would like to do doesn't past the "in the best interests of the children" test, I won't do it. As much as I would like to stick it to her sometimes (mainly for causing so many problems hardships for the rest of my family, especially the kids, but also my parents, siblings and their spouses, etc), I simply won't.

I have been completely honest with my lawyer (and the custody evaluator, and the therapists, and everyone) so she shouldn't have any surprises. Of course, with my ex's penchant for hyperbole, I hope her lawyer is a little shocked by what he hears. Of course, he's the same lawyer who told her she didn't have to pay anything in the joint bank account when we were forced to live together for a year (I suspect he wanted to be paid first). Anyway, I digress. Thanks again.
  #14  
Old 11-06-2012, 08:49 PM
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You can digress anytime on here - it's not costing you a cent! Good luck!
  #15  
Old 11-06-2012, 08:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firhill View Post
I would think that may be to your advantage, if introduced as evidence at trial. If they are all lies and exaggerations she will have no proof to offer, being it never happened.
Judge will then dismiss them and duly note that she's a liar.
She lied to the custody evaluator and I provided proof that she had done so. She hacked into my e-mail account, gained access to a men's mental health forum that I was part of, etc. None of this was in his report. Curious omission I think!

All she would do when we had to live together was threaten me with evidence that would come to light when we went to trial (did I mention that she's high conflict). Some of my parting words to her where to bring it on, since she didn't have anything on me (aside from the lies and exaggerations as far as I can tell). Anyway, I think the facts are on my side and many others have also told me that facts and reason, not emotional reasoning, should prevail.

Thanks for taking the time to comment.
  #16  
Old 11-06-2012, 10:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlienatedDad View Post
She hacked into my e-mail account, gained access to a men's mental health forum that I was part of, etc. None of this was in his report. Curious omission I think!
It has been mentioned in other threads (by Tayken, I think) that the above things are sometimes best kept in your "back pocket" and used against the other party at a more significant time.
Letting the other side know you can prove you caught them in a lie etc... at this early stage just allows them a better opportunity to defend the allegations or change their story.
  #17  
Old 11-06-2012, 10:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firhill View Post
It has been mentioned in other threads (by Tayken, I think) that the above things are sometimes best kept in your "back pocket" and used against the other party at a more significant time.
Letting the other side know you can prove you caught them in a lie etc... at this early stage just allows them a better opportunity to defend the allegations or change their story.
I agree. I know people aren't always well behaved during a divorce, but she makes up her own reality. I can hardly wait to see the motives she come up to justify her actions. I had access to her credit card info and her cellphone records for a period following separation. It felt weird to have these (and be tempted to take a peak), so I told put the phone in her name and told her to change the credit card password. She was accessing my e-mail for more than a year following separation. Glad I had a different account to discuss most issues with my lawyer, although somethings were discussed on the e-mail to which she had access (especially when I would forward legal documents, etc. to other family members). Surely a judge will view these things as being a little off balance if not worse.
  #18  
Old 11-06-2012, 11:02 PM
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My honest opinion is that a judge will care little about this as the two of you opted to live in the same house after separation did you not? I know it irks you to no end but really it's very, very small in the large scheme of things. From my point of view, as a stranger and only hearing your side of things, I don't think your ex has done anything that most people don't do in the down-and-dirty part of separation/divorce. No one cares whether you looked at each other's email or not. Really, it is not significant. No one cares if you have integrity and she doesn't. Sad but true. [personally I would have photocopied every last thing that I could have gotten my hands on so I guess that doesn't say much about me LOL].
  #19  
Old 11-07-2012, 12:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arabian View Post
My honest opinion is that a judge will care little about this as the two of you opted to live in the same house after separation did you not? I know it irks you to no end but really it's very, very small in the large scheme of things. From my point of view, as a stranger and only hearing your side of things, I don't think your ex has done anything that most people don't do in the down-and-dirty part of separation/divorce. No one cares whether you looked at each other's email or not. Really, it is not significant. No one cares if you have integrity and she doesn't. Sad but true. [personally I would have photocopied every last thing that I could have gotten my hands on so I guess that doesn't say much about me LOL].
I was forced to live in the same house with her. I did my best to try to come to some sort of arrangement where we share the house, or at the very least would spend alternating evenings away from home. She rejected every idea that I came up with.

I agree that the judge probably couldn't care less about some of these things. Still, she lied to the custody evaluator and this can and will be proven in court. Besides, she didn't just look at my e-mails if I left the browser open, she got my password and for over a year (even when I had physically left the house), she continued to read these e-mails. I wasn't aware of this until I was presented with the lies that she told the custody evaluator. Further, a notebook of mine was stolen by her, my cellphone mysteriously went missing a few days after I said I wanted out, etc.

More worrisome is the things that she has said to the children to try and alienate me from them. Phone calls unanswered, plans made for the children when I am in town, her leaving town and leaving my youngest with a 15-year old babysitter for more than a week (even though I offered to take him and the school said it was okay for him to miss a week), etc.

My understanding is that the court respects people who act like grownups and put the best interests of the children first. This is what I am trying to do. As I said, I am trying to take the high road.
  #20  
Old 11-17-2012, 01:59 PM
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An update on this . . . I received my ex's settlement conference brief last week. My lawyer said it was over an inch thick and so only sent me the relevant parts (at least what she considered to be relevant). Given the deadlines of the courts, we had less than 24 hours to give the other side our brief. We had been working on it for a few days but it is only about 10-pages long and it is missing a ton of information about asset valuation etc. contained in my ex's brief. Part of this is due to the fact we were never given full financial disclosure from the other side.

Anyway, the short story is that my lawyer has asked for an extension. She told me that brief is better and that the judge won't read the whole sob story of my ex. I am still concerned that we are not prepared. My lawyer said she was busy dealing with other clients and therefore we didn't talk until two days before our brief was supposed to be due. I was not at all pleased with this and if fact lost my cool with her, although I made it clear I was mainly frustrated with the situation and only somewhat upset with her (really, being too busy to talk to me . . . I am paying her, and handsomely to boot). I am worried about getting slaughtered at the settlement conference since we are not prepared in my opinion.

My lawyer said we are likely going to trail. This upset me even more knowing that the legal system favours those who tend by high conflict (her) rather and conciliatory. My ex's lawyer has requested five days if we go to trial.

I guess I'm just a little stressed right now.
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