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Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

I’m feeling SO strong… a few legal questions to move forward

Home Forums Get Advice, Give Advice I’m feeling SO strong… a few legal questions to move forward

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  • #1096290 Reply
    Tina
    Guest

    Hi, it’s me. Again…
    I have never been so close to leaving him as I am now. I am feeling empowered. I’ve spent so much time on Chump lady. I feel strong. His car being in front of her house last weekend when he said he was at work… I cannot get out of my mind. The visual is so powerful. Plus I have a photo of it when I feel weak again. It has been ideal that he has been out of town since that incident, so I have not seen or talked with him and have been able to subtract him from my mind. I looked up an apartment for rent that looks appealing, I’d be willing it to at least move in there for a month if not more to start separating myself. With all this said there are a few fears and concerns that I have I was wondering if I could receive a little bit of the legal advice:

    1) everyone is advising to meet with a lawyer. Does it cost money to meet with the lawyer for the first time?

    2) if a lawyer says they have a free 30 minute consultation, would they be giving me some advice during that time?

    3) there are so many lawyers out there. How do you know which ones are the meanest than most vicious divorce lawyers? I don’t have any people that would be able to recommend that sort of thing to me in town.

    4) over a year ago when my husband was threatening divorce, he said that he has already called the top lawyers and he is going to “f***” me over so bad. He said and once he has called a lawyer, that I cannot use them. Is this true? What if he called every top lawyer in our area to block me from using them? He is in law enforcement and would know who’s the best.

    5) my BIGGEST fear is losing my dog… she’s my baby. It sounds crazy but I would stay with this guy just to not lose my dog. I know he loves her just as much would never give her up. He would fight tooth and nail for her and I know since he is in law-enforcement that there’s things he knows to probably do that I don’t. Is there anything I can start doing now to secure knowing she would go to me? I’m especially concerned if I decide to leave the state to really go away and it would be hard to have joint custody of her.

    6) ) finally, I had talked about moving into an apartment for a while. There is no one in town that I would be able to stay with it so I would need to pay for rent. I know at the same time I would still have to pay for the mortgage for our house. It’s so much money to pay for both. It concerns me. There is no way he would let me not uphold my end of the mortgage. He would definitely not leave our house if I asked him. Our finances are incredibly separate so I usually send him a Facebook message pay feature with the amount I owe for my portion each month. (The house is in my name but the loan is in his).

    Thank you all!!

    #1096304 Reply
    anonymousse
    Participant

    Tina, google is your friend. You’re not helpless. Call some lawyers and ask for a free consult.

    #1096305 Reply
    BK
    Guest

    I don’t know the answers to your legal questions but it sounds like he’s trying to scare you into feeling he’s in control and you’re letting him. I’m not sure where you live, but we have legal aid where I live. Your legal fees are based on what you make. And a lawyer who makes a lot of money isn’t necessarily better than a legal aid lawyer. A judge looks at the facts.

    If he’s intimidating you, a judge will see that. It does sound like a lawyer is in order, though.

    My husband’s ex was impossible to deal with and he paid so much for his lawyer, until he figured out how to file the paperwork on his own and in the end his ex had to pay HIM costs for being unreasonable. That said, a lawyer knows the loopholes and my husband’s ex certainly got through some of them because my husband wasn’t lawyered up.

    Don’t give him the power. Lie if you have to. Look into legal aid. And your house is your house! It’s in your name! You could call the police to have him removed if he won’t leave willingly. The finances can be figured out through your bank or lawyer. But don’t put up with him staying there and telling you he has a right to it when he doesn’t.

    #1096307 Reply
    LisforLeslie
    Guest

    Most divorce attorneys don’t give a free consult. Some might thought but lawyers that give free consultations are usually personal injury because they want to determine if it’s even worthwhile. Divorce is more cut and dry. You have a legal relationship you want to terminate.

    The yarn about going to all of the lawyers in town so that the spouse can’t use them is an urban myth. Again, divorce attorneys typically don’t do free consults so he’d have to pay them for their time. Plus, I suspect it’s an empty threat. Plus, the best lawyer may not be in town but in a couple of towns over – google is your friend.

    Talk to a lawyer before moving out. Depending on your location it could impact what you get in the divorce. Also talk to the lawyer about the dog – people get really fucking weird and the lawyer can advise you.

    Lastly, congrats on perhaps possibly maybe turning the corner. I’m glad you feel empowered. Record yourself now as a reminder of how powerful you feel (and how powerful you are). Divorce is hard and sometimes it takes a lot longer than you want it to. It’s very dependent on whether or not you want to fight over money and property. If you’re willing to walk away from most of it, you might be able to get out quickly and never look back. If you want to fight over finances you have to plan to pay more, it will take more time and it will be more emotionally difficult. Just be prepared.

    #1096310 Reply
    Kate
    Keymaster

    Step 1: Stop believing anything this scamming fuck says.

    Step 2: Get in touch with your EAP and maybe some experts at a domestic abuse nonprofit who can give you a checklist on how to leave.

    Or yeah, just fucking google.

    #1096311 Reply
    golfer.gal
    Guest

    Most 30 minute free consultations simply cover the attorney explaining the divorce process, what their retainers are, their experience, etc. Usually to get actual legal advice- like the kind you’re asking for about the dog, you’re going to have to pay their hourly rate. Somewhere between $175-$450 depending on the attorney. You’ll need to pay this even for a first meeting if you want actual legal advice.

    We can’t advise you on paying your mortgage, how you can keep the dog, etc. That depends on the state you live in. My attorney told me I was under no obligation to continue paying my mortgage after I moved out. You may be able to file for temporary alimony while you are separated to help with costs. It depends on your state. You need an attorney. Google is your friend, as is your state’s bar to find a good one in your area.

    #1096312 Reply
    FYI
    Guest

    Okay, first of all, congratulations for turning a corner! Yay! Here are some suggestions:
    1. Make Chump Lady your new bible.
    2. Find some money to spend on a lawyer; I don’t know how much you’ll need at first, but start squirreling it away.
    3. Take all those questions — about moving, losing your dog, being blocked from using certain lawyers — take all of that to a lawyer. All of it. Don’t move until your lawyer advises you to do that.
    4. Which lawyer? You are going to have to stealthily seek recommendations. Here are 3 suggestions on where to look.
    * I personally would not use a lawyer from legal aid for this case, BUT they can perhaps make a recommendation.
    * Call the bar association in your state and ask them for the top five lawyers in your area that deal with high-conflict cases. Ask for lawyers in your area, not just your town.
    * Find a women’s center in your town or state. Call and ask them how to find a high-conflict divorce attorney.
    5. Find a support group. Codependents Anonymous has phone meetings, and they may have in-person meetings where you live. You seem to have no friends or family to trust, so you need to set up some emotional support.
    6. While he’s out of town, make copies of every financial statement you can get your hands on. Tell the lawyer you are getting that information together.

    I am not going to swear at you, because you should be heartily congratulated for this shift. Brava! KEEP IT GOING.

    #1096315 Reply
    ron
    Guest

    Good for you! In seeking advice, don’t talk to friends/acquaintances whom your husband is on speaking terms with — no way of knowing who may blab stuff back to him and cause trouble you don’t need. Stick to agencies. If you go on-line to search, don’t leave an internet trail. If you don’t know how to avoid doing so on your computer or phone, use a computer at your public library, etc.

    #1096317 Reply
    anonymousse
    Participant

    Also, while you’re feeling so strong please seek therapy, counseling, etc. please. Do this now.

    #1096318 Reply
    Lucidity
    Guest

    I manage a vet clinic and have been asked to provide proof of ownership in divorce cases where custody of a pet is at stake.

    Is your dog registered at a vet clinic with your name listed as primary owner? Ask them for a letter of ownership, where they state that you are registered there as the dog’s owner and for how long, that you’ve been the person paying for the dog’s care, etc. If you take her to a groomer or behavioural classes or doggy daycare, ask for letters stating the same kind of thing. Bring these letters to the lawyer.

    Keep all of this paperwork somewhere your husband can’t find it.

    #1096319 Reply
    bloodymediocrity
    Participant

    Good job Tina. I can’t provide any advice on the lawyering up process, but it’s nice to see you finally angry enough to take action. If you have any friends who have been through a tumultuous divorce process, maybe sit them down over a cup of coffee and you can learn from them (and possibly learn from their mistakes).

    #1096603 Reply
    Maree
    Guest

    He’s in law enforcement, has made threats and is controlling. Please Tina get advice from a domestic violence service. Don’t use your computer unless you KNOW it is safe. You need a safety plan. Best wishes.

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