Fixing a lawyer screw up

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  #1  
Old 06-24-07, 08:02 AM
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Fixing a lawyer screw up

When in court with my ex. my lawyer got it to where I paid support of $200 a month until our child that lived with her became 18. Afterwards my ex was to pay $100 a month until our youngest became 18.
Our oldest is now 21 and I finally got the child support recovery unit to tell me why there has been no support. There is apparently no order that says there is support due in the courts files.
My lawyer has since retired but is one of the partners yet along with his younger brother and there office seems to think that until I have their bill completely paid they don't intend to do anything about it. Yes I have been making payments but do not see where payment for an incorrect job is a part of this matter anyway.
My ex. is now $3800 in the rears which is much more than what I owe the lawyers office in the first place. I also have issues with the child support office and would like to know what government offices enforce lawyers and child support to do what they are paid for.
If you need more information to help me with these problems I will gladly give you a quick 18 year summary of the divorce, support issues. Just ask.
John
 
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Old 06-24-07, 09:20 AM
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well, if there is no support order to begin with, the ex is not in arrears.

what you may owe the lawyers has no effect on any court order. They are two very seperate things. The fact you still owe the attorneys (how long ago did you go to court?) will definately effect them in taking on your case.

You do not have to use the same attorney.

I'm not sure what you are trying to fight actually. There is no court order mandating child support from your wife. You had to have signed the divorce decree and presumably the child support agreement was part of that. This would have told you about the child support situation.

Did the decree include an order of support as you posted? That is where you need to start.
 
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Old 06-24-07, 08:51 PM
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I did not read the last support order I simply took it that when my lawyer told me the agreement stated there was a support order that he had read it and it was in fact an order.
When I hired him as my lawyer I expected him to know how to tend to the legalities. Am I wrong? Still I am asking what offices are watch dogs over lawyers and the child support recovery unit.
Let me explain one circumstance which might make it easier to understand why I feel I am being taken by the law and the support people.
In 1991 my wife left me with the kids and in 1994 we divorced (myself the petitioner) and I was given custody of our 4 children. The divorce decree stated that she was to pay $200 a month support. We had $8000 equity in the house and I was to keep the house and she didn't have to pay the first 20 support payments to off set her half of the $8000. I had to sign a promisory note stating this.
As of today I was forced to pay her this $4000 by the child support recovery unit that garnished my checks. I have been custodial parent 24/7 12 months of the year for 15 of the last 17 years including the summer months out of school which were to be hers. I have also paid in over $14,000 in child support. To date I have never recieved any support from my ex through the recovery unit or any other office. Also no direct support.
I do not wish this to sound like I am being disrespectful or that I am holding a grudge against anyone. I am not a hateful person nor am I a dead beat that doesn't want to pay his lawyer tab. I am simply a father that loves his children and provides for them best I can and am weary of being kept broke.

John
 
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Old 06-24-07, 09:08 PM
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Still I am asking what offices are watch dogs over lawyers and the child support recovery unit.
==========================================

there is no "office" per se that watches attorneys. They are bound by the rules of the state in which they practice and are subject to the actions of the courts, if imposed upon them.

If you want to make a complaint, call your states bar association. If you feel you have been treated illegally, you will need to sue the attorney, just as you would sue anybody else that injured you.

child support recovery unit; no real idea. You might try you states attorney generals office. They may be able to direct you to the correct department.

Ultimately, we are all responsible to watch our own behinds. The old statement, you can only be taken advantage of if you let somebody take advantage of you, is so appropriate here. You have waited a very long time to realize there is a problme and take an action because of this. That never looks good in court.
 
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Old 06-25-07, 06:32 AM
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I agree I haven't been very good at getting the ball rolling in this case but there are circumstances that make it very difficult.
First of all lawyers like to be paid. Being a single parent with no help from the ex or child support recovery makes finances tight. By the way tight finances are the only reason my children HAD to go to their mothers for 2 years or we were going to lose their home anyway.
Second; the child support recovery unit doesn't admit to their mistakes easily. I finally got one worker to send me past payment records and found proof of the $4000 screw up in their math.
Because of so many screw ups my case is hard for me to understand let alone a judge. My first lawyer told me to bring in affidavits on Wednesday and should have said BY Wednesday. Short term loss of custody and another $1000 dollars to a new attourney.
My ex had another child by my brother who she is married to now so child support had me paying her support because the childs last name was the same and they couldn't figure that out.
During the 2 years my ex had custody the oldest 2 ended up in foster care because she let them run with her brothers girl friends son who was freshly out of prison and once they got the feel of freedom they became run aways and the state wouldn't give me the chance to bring them back home.
My youngest 2 moved back in December 23 of 2000 and both lived with me until 2002 when the oldest went to his moms and got into trouble with the law. He actually ended up in prison from 2003 to 2007. Thanks Mom.
I have found out from my oldest that her mother would get her and her brother high to settle them down.
My youngest is about to turn 16 and he goes to church with me Sundays and this summer he has started going to work with me. Out of the older 3 my daughter is now 26 and is getting married in September. Shes doing great and her soon to be husband is a very good man. My 24 year old son is on probation and is still doing drugs with his mom. My 21 year old is on probation and is following the rules and now has his drivers license and a full time job. Thanks dad.
Tell me should I not want the child support recovery unit and my lawyer to fix their screw ups now?
 
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Old 06-25-07, 07:39 AM
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Tell me should I not want the child support recovery unit and my lawyer to fix their screw ups now?
------------------

it's not that you may or may not want them to fix things; it is that it may be too late to fix things.


There is a thing in the law called the doctrine of laches. It is like a statute of limitations on actions only it generally does not have a finite time limit. What it allows in many situations is to let the courts say, "you waited too long. any action now would have extreme adverse effects on the other party and it would not be fair to change things"

Doesn;t sound fair sometimes but it isn;t fair for all parties to accept things a particular way and then when they are settled in that, somebody comes along and says "whoa! I want to change things".

as well, there are actual statutes of limitations that do give a finite time limit for taking actions.

Both of these may play against you.

I am sorry to hear you have had and continue to have so many extrememe problems.

I am also sorry I cannot offer you much real help. Your situation is very complex. It needs the attention of an attorney that has access to all the pertinent documents and access to those involved.
 
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Old 06-25-07, 11:23 AM
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After my time here in diys.com this morning I did some google searches of my own and found out the state has an office called the ombudsmans office which acts as mediator/spokespeople for the public with problems concerning public offices.
I called my lawyer at 9 a.m. and told him I was thinking about going through them to get the ball rolling with C.S.R.U. and then I also mentioned the attorney generals office and now we seem to be getting somewhere. I have already been called back 2 times and have a date set to interview with a judge.
Thanks for the idea of the attorney general now do you have any advice on how to prepare for the judge?
John
 
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