Christine, what state do you live in? I'm a paralegal in NE Nevada. Maybe I can help with some suggestions. Can't give you any "legal advice" but have been doing this for over 30 years. Every situation is different and your's sounds like you got yourself in a pickle. Check with Legal Aide first though. In Nevada LA won't help if the divorce is "contested" (where you both don't agree on issues) but it may be different in your state. Maybe I can help, or not, but will definitely keep you in my prayers. Let me know and don't give up!
Are you legally separated and filing for divorce at this time, or have you just moved out and are filing? If no "legal" separation has taken place, and he has not advertised a listing as "not being responsible for and debt other than his own," in the eyes of the law, you two are still husband and wife. If this is the case, I'd apply for several charge cards as Mrs. so-and-so and run up a bill (or use cards you already have that both of you are on). Being married, the debt will be his too. He'll want to cut you loose because he won't want to be responsible for the newly acquired debt load. Personally, I'd just take out cash against the cards, and I'd hide it so he couldn't try to get it during the divorce; you can use it to pay your half later, or if you choose, take that debt as your part of the settlement. Either way, you'll get out of the relationship. Make sure you list that you are not responsible for any debt other than your own, so he cannot turn the tables and leave you with huge bills. Get on the internet; in most states, you can file for your own divorce for a small amount if you just want out and are willing to leave without anything. While it's difficult to just walk away, it may be worthwhile to consider it.
I'm still going thru that 8 years later. My email is email@example.com. I suggest going to a self help place. I'm in No. Ca. and a friend who worked in the system was correct- as a woman, it won't be fair anyway. The judges favor the men all he way. But, I know you can do most things on your own. A legal website to fill out the papers, copy them 3-4 times and file them your self. If you are low income, file a fee waiver, then you won't have to pay for anything. You can ask the judge to grant the divorce, but you'll have to file something, so get help. Even tho he has an attorney, you can file! You can also file and ask the judge for him to pay your attorney fees to 'level the playing field' as they call it. sick, huh!
Am not familiar with legal proceedings but my son is a Solicitor and unfortunately neither of you can legally re-marry unless this situation is resolved. For what this advise is worth "do not" spend any more money with your current attorney. Take heart that you are not the first and certainly won't be the last to find them-selves in this situation. The only person "laughing all the way to the Bank" is your current legal representative. So sorry for you.
I agree with the other post said that 'when he was served the divorce papers he has 60 days to contest it. Course then all states are different. So what state are you in?
Call the court house and ask them or better yet call the library as they have a department here in NC that will investigate and thoroughly look up anything that you have a question on or want information on. I have used them myself (but not for a legal question of course).
Gracious good luck honey and keep us posted on how this turns out fr you ok?
ps: And if you really can't get help, see if there is a program in your area for homeless or battered women. Call and see if they have any references for people who could help you out. They probably see similar situations (and worse) all the time, so they may know just who you should turn to.
Call your state office, either the governor's office or your state representative in DC or both. Get their numbers off the web. Ask if there are any programs in your area (even by phone) that offer free or reduced legal aid. It really sounds like you need the advice of professionals who aren't out to make a buck. We had a problem with a car dealership once and our state had a program where you could speak to an attorney (they volunteered and rotated) for a certain period of time for $25. That could get you on the right track. Good luck!
I think you got a bad lawyer. You need to do something legal so that he is no longer your next of kin. You don't say what state you live in. Remember Terri Sheivo? They were separated for ten years but her husband still remained her next of kin. Make someone else your medical designated person. If you have children who are of age chose one of them. That's legal. If you have life insurance take his name off as beneficiary. Do you own a car? Is his name on it too? Trade it and get one only in your name. See where I am going? Unhook from him as much as you can for now. What are you fighting over? Property? What are his demands? You can get a divorce, but I wouldn't wait around for him to find someone else. That's foolish. Take charge. If necessary force the sale of any property you own together. We could have helped you more if you had said what state you live in. I would definetly go the bar association in your state and turn this lawyer in.
I don't know what state you are in, but in Iowa, if one person files for divorce, there will be a divorce. Unfortunately, if your husband hired an attorney, the attorney will probably be only too happy to drag things out as long as possible, as most earn $$$/hr past what the retainer is. In Iowa, the waiting period is 90 days, and if the Respondent doesn't file an answer to the Petition for Dissolution, then the Judge will sign the decree granting what the Petitioner has requested in the Petition. If your husband wants to be a butt about it, his attorney will probably have a ton of interrogatories, etc, to drag it out, but eventually, it will be set for trial, if a settlement can't be reached prior to trial. In Iowa one person can not waive "reconciliation counseling" which means both parties would have to go to counseling to try to work something out to reconcile, but in the 15 yrs I worked as a legal secretary, I only saw that once I think. Most people waive it. Good luck. I'm so sorry to hear your attorney didn't do squat for you. UGH. Divorce bites.
Also most states have a legal aid service, where you can get free legal aid. However, a lot of the time they only handle certain types of cases.
I wish so much that I could help you in some way, but I don't know of any place that helps women. I will pray for you, and I know that many people on TF will. Maybe there will be a lawyer on TF who can at least give you some advice. Where do you live? The local ABA (American Bar Association) may be able to give you a referal. I hope so. Stay strong!
I don't know know that there is anything to do if he won't sign the papers. However, quit blowing money on an attorney, if it isn't do any good. When you had the divorce papers served on him, did he respond. Here in SD when a person is served with divorce papers they have 60 days to respond, otherwise the divorce is granted be default or whatever it is called. Some day he will meet a woman he wants and then he will be agreeable.
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