Is this normal for lawyers? - Mothering Forums

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Old 04-30-2013, 07:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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STBX and I are in agreement about most everything for our separation agreement and custody (at least at this point we are, but nothing is signed yet).

 

I did end up hiring my own lawyer to write up the SA instead of going the collaborative law route, because I wanted to make sure that I was being wise.  

 

He basically had taken everything we said we wanted and is supposed to be putting it into the SA.  I've met with him twice.  The first time right was last October when I paid him 1/2 the cost.

 

We met back in January to finish up things and then he sent me a bill for the second 1/2 of the fee.  I didn't pay it at first because I figured it wouldn't be expected until after the SA was finished.

 

When I hadn't heard back by February, I called and his office said it was expected to pay the bill before he finished.  So, I paid them.  

 

But now it is two months later and I still haven't heard back.  I did call his office about 4 weeks ago and when they checked they said it was done and they would be in touch.

 

I guess it is partly my fault for not being a squeaky wheel, but I really would think that they would be more on top of things than this.  Overall I like the lawyer.  He has been very helpful when we have talked in person or by phone.  The trouble is it is so hard to actually reach him.  

 

I've had a lot of other things to juggle and, since STBX and I aren't in disagreement about things, I haven't been feeling in a hurry to wrap up the SA.  But it is something that I want to get in place in case STBX decides to change his mind about things.  Right now the SA is really in my favor.  I get 50% income from our business, I have 100% custody, he pays child support, I keep the house, etc.  I don't want him to start second guessing things before we have it legal.  

 

Probably I just need to apply more pressure to the lawyer and start calling up more often.  A friend thought I'm not getting much attention because we aren't going to court.  But I'm just wondering, is that standard to pay the full fee before we've gotten the SA signed? 

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Old 05-01-2013, 10:13 AM
 
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I don't think the lawyer can notarize the agreement for both you and your ex, you can sign it with the lawyer present. Your ex will either have to take it to another lawyer or a notary. even though you're in agreement it would be like he's representing opposing sides, and the SA might not be valid. That's not a big deal as long as you stay in agreement, but you don't want it to be easy for your ex to back out of it later on, if he decides he wants to change things.

 

I would call and make an appointment to sign it, if it's ready then there won't be a problem.


~Teresa, raising DS (Jan. 02) and DD1 (Jun. 04) and DD2 (Dec. 11) with DH.

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Old 05-02-2013, 08:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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That makes sense.  I guess I didn't mean having the SA agreement signed and finalized but rather just having it in hand so that STBX could review it with a lawyer.  I'm just wondering if I shouldn't have paid the full amount before he had finished the agreement on my end.  

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Old 05-05-2013, 12:28 AM
 
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Call every day and email the office. This is not acceptable. You paid for the document to be written and they haven't given you the document. What happens if your husband and his lawyer want to make changes? You can't have this person represent you or advise you on those negotiations if he won't return phone calls. 

 

You need to be tough and persistent to deal with all this bureaucratic crap. If you aren't naturally tough and persistent, just pretend really hard. 

 

Let us know when they send you back the SA from the lawyer's office. If it isn't in your hand by Tuesday (and they can EMAIL it to you, for heaven's sake) get ready to call the Better Business Bureau to ask for advice. 

 

(My experience was with a lawyer and a pair of mediators. The lawyer had me pay a retainer, and continued to work for me for a little while after we'd exceeded the retainer fee without saying anything. The mediators had us pay for each session as we went. No one refused to hand over work, though I did have to pester all the parties to keep the process going--politely, of course.) 


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Old 05-05-2013, 07:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ok, thanks for the encouragement.  I will call and email them again tomorrow.  I just really would like to not have to hound them.  I have enough on my plate as it is.  But, since I paid the money I really need to make sure I get the document before more time has passed.  Thanks!

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Old 05-06-2013, 03:47 AM
 
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Originally Posted by MamaRuga View Post

Ok, thanks for the encouragement.  I will call and email them again tomorrow.  I just really would like to not have to hound them.  I have enough on my plate as it is.  But, since I paid the money I really need to make sure I get the document before more time has passed.  Thanks!

I know, it's not right for them to make it your job to make them do their job. I'm sorry. This whole getting divorced thing sucks. I hope you are getting lots of support from people in your life. 


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Old 05-06-2013, 08:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks!  Yes, I'm getting good support.  All I really need to is get more sleep and I'm sure I could be more on top of this lawyer thing.   Its just a hard combination to push through the legal stuff and parent a baby (and 5 year old) all by myself.  I need things to be as easy as possible.  You know how it is to be a sleep deprived mother of a baby, even simple things, like calling the lawyer seem overwhelming.  I'm so grateful that at least I don't have a lot of drama going on with the separation.  I just need to get this SA finalized so I can rest assured that everything is in place.  

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Old 05-07-2013, 10:17 AM
 
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Originally Posted by MamaRuga View Post
 You know how it is to be a sleep deprived mother of a baby, even simple things, like calling the lawyer seem overwhelming. 

I totally know this feeling!  You could probably explain this to the receptionist and let her/him know how much you would appreciate a quick resolution.  

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Old 10-30-2013, 08:06 AM
 
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Did you every get the agreement from this lawyer? Or did your stbx get disagreeable which is why you are doing mediation now??
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Old 11-10-2013, 07:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Turned out my lawyer thought he was waiting for info from me, so he got on our changes right away.  But now it has been a few weeks again.  We are so close to getting this wrapped up.  I just need the final version from the lawyer.  Seems I just really have to stay on top of him about it, though.

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Old 11-10-2013, 07:09 PM
 
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They is great news!
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Old 11-11-2013, 11:40 AM
 
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Good for you! I hated how it was on me to get all the divorce tasks done, even though I didn't want the divorce in the first place. It does help to make what could be an occasion of unmitigated grief into a mixed feeling of sadness and accomplishment. 


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