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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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  #1  
Old 12-14-2009, 02:52 PM
Hephzibah Hephzibah is offline
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Default Contempt of Court

My lawyer is not forthcoming on what she plans to do next.

Short history:

I left ex in July 2008 to go to the ER and then the women's shelter.

I hired a lawyer two weeks (Aug 2008) later to start the divorce with cause of abuse.

She didn't file until March 2009; there was a death in her family so she took a couple months off; plus she didn't want me to file with cause - although it was filed that way.

Ex got an attorney.

Divorce granted on the day of our 11th anniversary - ex didn't show up for court. His lawyer couldn't find him - had a stack of phonecons, e-mails and certified mail that ex had not accepted. Finally his lawyer went to his house and found him home.

Separation Agreement is now under case management. Gone to court 4 times and ex showed up for 3 of them - once he was drunk.

In early October, the judge made a motion ex had to start paying interim spousal support back-paid to the beginning of October 2009, pay the 13 months of non-payment on the credit card, allow an appraiser to appraise the family home, and give his lawyer a copy of his financial statement.

Ex lied to the appraiser - told him the house was 25 years old when it was 5; so it had to be reappraised. Unethical, but apparently not illegal.

When we were to go to court the beginning of December, my lawyer said none of those are done so his lawyer asked for a postponement and she agreed so I wouldn't have to pay for her fees since she said no progress would be made that day. I presume ex is in contempt of court. I asked my lawyer and she said she'd have to check. Because of that delay, we didn't go to court in November. December the docket is full with holiday visitation so the lawyer said it would be in January - but hasn't sent me the date yet.

We've been assigned a new judge - the third one since we started the divorce.

How long will the court allow ex to avoid doing his part to get this finalized? What is the normal course of action a judge would do in this situation to get ex to do his part? Is there anything I can do to hurry the process?

I just want to put this chapter of my life behind me.

Thanks for any help.

Hephzibah
  #2  
Old 12-14-2009, 05:55 PM
Hephzibah Hephzibah is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scared1 View Post
this is the part of about FL in Ont that is just insane.
I'm in Newfoundland; I thought this was for Canadian divorces. If I'm not welcome, let me know.

The last judge said he wanted us in his courtroom every 3 or 4 weeks for case management to get this finalized. The lawyer sent a quick e-mail that it will be mid-Feb. That's 19 months. That's ridiculous.

Quote:
Ok, do you still need a current appraisal?
I don't know. The appraiser says talk to my lawyer that he's not to talk to me directly since he was hired by my lawyer (him and his wife are personal friends). My lawyer didn't answer my question.

Quote:
I went to the regional land registry to see wha the house was worth when bought then i called the city tax people who told me what it was being taxed on. Then call a real estate agent and ask them what they think the home is worth. Submit to the court. Land Registry can tell you how old the house for an 8 dollar fee.
I hadn't thought of asking the tax people. I did talk to the real estate agent who sold us the house - he's the one who verified the age of the house with the appraiser. Thanks for the great ideas. I'll call the city office tomorrow.

________________

Quote:
Originally Posted by scared1 View Post
Call the court clerks directly and if they tell you to talk to your lawyer tell them you are getting the run around. Depending on the court and hearing type it can be weeks or months unless you have an interim order.
The judge gave orders for case management in August to meet every 3 or 4 weeks until we get this finalized. He said the handling of this case was unconscionable. He gave orders for interim spousal and the other things in October. That was the last time we went to court.

Quote:
I just found out today that sometimes a settlement conference can turn into a case conference if both parties agree.
I don't think we're eligible for a conference since there was abuse. My lawyer said if we file for abuse, that the court process would go differently.

Quote:
Years ago I had a lawyer tell me in my first divorce that he was getting the run around from a sheriff who had to serve the documents and that turned out not not to be true.
I tend to believe ex's lawyer. Not only did he have a stack of certified letters he showed the judge - when the judge put ex on the stand to determine why he had not replied to his own lawyer - ex said he had only went to the Post Office every 3 months so he must have gotten his mail on a day between certified letters; he said he didn't know how to listen to messages on his answering machine so didn't hear them; and he said he hadn't turned on his computer in months; and the reason he hadn't answered the door was because he didn't recognize the lawyer's secretary who was knocking on the door. I'm sure the judge believed him.... NOT. I wish the judge would have asked him how he managed to pay his utility bills if he didn't do those things....
_______________

ANOTHER QUESTION:

As mentioned, ex is drinking; which includes drinking and driving. My name is on his car and his name is on mine. I've talked to my lawyer about getting my name taken off and she hasn't done that - says that will happen after the separation agreement is finalized. Is there any way to get that done prior to getting the separation agreement finalized? Ex and I don't talk, so him and I doing it is not an option. Plus, his vehicle is worth about 3 times what mine is - so my lawyer said I'll get monetary compensation for the difference.

MORE QUESTIONS:

Will the court ever penalize him for not working with the system or doing what he was ordered to do?

Thanks,

Hephzibah
  #3  
Old 12-14-2009, 07:56 PM
Hephzibah Hephzibah is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scared1 View Post
This is mostly for Ontario divorces. I am an American married to a Canadian.
I am a dual citizen.

Thank you for the links.

Quote:
Could the place where you register the cars there to see if you can take his name off now. I had an issue like that when i divorced the first ime in the US. Took me nearly 2 yrs to get the state to allow me to change it.
Thanks for the idea.

Quote:
The ruels say a person is supposed to be penalized but from what I see and read it can almost take an act of God someitmes.
Well, I found out the rest of the story today. My lawyer e-mailed me.

Court won't be until mid-February because she has 4 weeks vacation in Jan-Feb.

Ex is not in contempt as my lawyer says didn't realize she was suppose to write the court order to get ex to do those things; but will put it on her list of things to do. One of the links you posted said it is always the "successful" attorney who writes the court order for the judge to sign. I can't believe after practicing family law for 14 years that she isn't aware of that.

The family law system is obviously NOT user friendly.

Thanks,

Hephzibah
  #4  
Old 12-14-2009, 08:39 PM
Hephzibah Hephzibah is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scared1 View Post
Ok first if you can get a new lawyer. Second it appears you have tile a motion for contempt. Can you change the insurance or is he off now?
He is on the title. I can not change the insurance on my vehicle unless he'd go in and sign for that - and he won't. Thus, the coverage I have is what he wants it to be. I'd like a bigger umbrella, but I can't even change that without his "permission".

Can I file for contempt since my lawyer never wrote the order? Thus, he's not in contempt - he' just waiting for her....

I've talked to two other lawyers and they won't take the case now that it's so messed up. They said it would cost me more then what I'll get in the settlement.
  #5  
Old 12-15-2009, 09:35 AM
Hephzibah Hephzibah is offline
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Quote:
Call every lawyer you can. I was getting told my case was complicated. my ex filed it that way, so i called nearly 100 of them even duty counsel was helpless as first. Said only a high priced lawyer could do this.
What's duty counsel?

Quote:
I swear some lawyer want people to stay married.
She did good getting the divorce just 12 -1/2 months after leaving. But 17 months of dragging out the financial separation agreement is sooo not acceptable.

I'm rather boggled on how to go forward.

I'm not a greedy woman - but i figure for every month ex stalls and refuses to give documents to the court or gives the wrong documents - that is one more month he has to pay interim spousal support and eventually occupational rent. At least that feels like there is somehow something more "fair" to this icky business. I'd rather be unintangled from him, though.

Thanks for listening, giving feedback and helping me get through this maze.

Hephzibah
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