My lawyer keeps postponing the default hearing...

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Outofhere

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My lawyer keeps postponing the default hearing...
« on: October 12, 2021, 04:41:10 PM »
Iím hoping someone here might be able to offer some advice. After years of escalating abuse, I left my narc husband in December 2020 with only a duffel bag and my dogs, and moved out of state. Over the following year I proceeded to get paperwork together and filed for divorce. The attorney I worked with was well recommended by someone I trusted, but over the last year he has misfiled papers, postponed multiple court dates for reasons including him still finishing up paperwork, being in front of another judge in a different county on the same day as my hearing, having his office recarpeted, and scheduling on a date that he later claimed was a religious holiday he was observing.  :stars: None of this strikes me as remotely professional.

At this point my ex and I are on civil terms, and he contacted the attorney a month ago stating that he would sign whatever papers needed to be signed to finalize the divorce. Monday my attorney replied to him through email, but did not copy me, asking him to contact the office so they could discuss terms of settlement. My ex forwarded me a copy, and I told him not to reply at this time. I don't trust my own attorney; 

Iím worried that if my ex does contact him, the attorney will just use this as another excuse to drag this out and continue billing me without completing the actual divorce. He has already billed through my retainer and is sending my notices of a balance due; I informed him I am just getting by, and until the divorce is complete, I have no more money to pay him.  Currently, the next default hearing is scheduled for October 19, though time and again my attorney has canceled the day before.

I simply want the divorce done, but Iím trying to understand my rights with an attorney who doesnít return my calls, copy me in emails, and has paperwork full of crossed-out dates and other revisions. Has anyone else faced anything like this? Any guidance anyone could offer would be greatly appreciated.

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Poison Ivy

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Re: My lawyer keeps postponing the default hearing...
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2021, 05:24:23 PM »
With very few exceptions, the rule is that the client always has the right to dismiss (fire, stop working with, replace) the attorney. I agree with you that this lawyer's behavior is unprofessional. (I say this both from my personal and my professional perspective; I have a law degree.) Edited to add: I'm not saying you should or shouldn't fire the attorney, but you can fire the attorney. If you decide to do so, make sure you have copies of all documents you shared with the person and all documents filed on your behalf. Attorneys aren't supposed to hold former clients' papers hostage, but sometimes they do anyway.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2021, 05:29:32 PM by Poison Ivy »

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notrightinthehead

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Re: My lawyer keeps postponing the default hearing...
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2021, 05:55:43 PM »
i have no advice for you but I am interested because I have a similar problem with my lawyer.
I can't hate my way into loving myself.

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PlantFlowersNotWeeds

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Re: My lawyer keeps postponing the default hearing...
« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2021, 12:24:10 PM »
Good Luck with whatever you decide to do.
I read the line "I don't trust my attorney any more".  That would be my reason to get a new one - it's all so stressful. 
It seems like your finish line is in view....keep going! You got this!!!