Thank you for allowing me an opportunity to answer your interesting
question. We cannot provide legal advice by policy but since you asked
for an OPINION I?d be happy to oblige.
I think your chances are fairly good that family court will side with
you in this financial dispute. Courts traditionally frown upon a
bread-winner or non-custodial parent who fails to meet his obligations
regardless if he has the means or not. They especially frown on one
who fails to live up to his previous agreements. When your husband
agreed to one arrangement and now reneges on it, this may in fact
nullify your separation agreement entirely. This means, in effect,
that you could theoretically go back to court and re-negotiate the
entire separation and subsequent divorce and potentially attach his
retirement pension or whatever other present of future finances he
You made a classic error (read: legal blunder), in my opinion, when
you sought the services of a mutual attorney to ?handle? your affairs.
SEPERATION is just that, a separation of ALL interests ? including
your legal interests. It?s not surprising that the attorney, who can
technically only represent one side of the dispute, chose to take the
side of the ?person with the income?. As such, this attorney basically
represents your husband?s legal interests only and you are essentially
without representation. Furthermore, having clearly stated that he
must officially lean toward your husband's interests, this attorney is
not legally bound to "you" in ANY WAY, nor is he obligated to release
information that he might be privy to about hour husband?s financial
affairs, strategy or intent. When you agreed to this arrangement you
basically signed surrender and now you are a person without a lawyer
who is playing the game against an opponent who HAS a lawyer.
I think ultimately that you stand a good chance of having some (if not
all) these things turn in your favor to some degree, but I strongly
recommend you obtain your own lawyer, independent of your husband?s
retained law office. He might be able to convince the family court
that you were misinformed, misled, or that you misunderstood how your
interests would be represented (i.e., not represented at all). This
could make a significant difference in how the court views the current
It sounds to me as if you are being led by the hand by this attorney
and your ex to your doom under the pretense of working the matter out
in the least conflicting way so as to cause the least amount of harm
and animosity. Don't believe it for a second.
My opinion is that you need to learn from this experience, smarten up
and go find yourself an attorney of your own so you can come back
prepared, better protected, more knowledgeable, and motivated to claim
what may be rightfully yours with a vengeance. Your ex (AND his
lawyer) will probably gasp for air when they learn that you've figured
it out, that you?re not susceptible to being burned twice, and that
you are not as naive as they probably think (or hope) you are. I would
imagine the phone call will go something like this:
Lawyer: "Bob, this is attorney Smith. I hope you're sitting down
because something has come up and we've got a serious problem here."
I hope my answer exceeds your expectations. If you have any questions
please post a clarification request prior to rating the answer.
Otherwise, I welcome your rating and your final comments and I look
forward to working with you again in the near future. Thank you for
bringing your question to us.
Tutuzdad ? Google Answers Researcher