We live in NY. I have three boys, 21, 18,16. I never worked. There were four properties to be divided, laundromats, contracting businesses. My x hadn’t filed taxes since 96, and much more. My lawyer was horrible. I consulted other lawyers to see if they would take over my case. They wanted a lot of money because of the mess, and I didn’t have the money to give them. On the day of the inquest, we were in the halls of the courts trying to split properties based on a “draft” settlement. My lawyer never went over it with me or discussed with me my lifestyle and that of my boys or the cost of living for my boys and me. My boys were the biggest concern to me, and she repeatedly told me the two oldest are not my problem. It was very unprofessional. I went before a judge for an inquest – I did not know what this was. I was tired and disgusted. Never thinking or knowing this was my final contract. My x was in contempt for never returning furniture. Ididn’t have our art work appraised which he stole out of the house (over $100,000).He refused to give me maintenance and child support for two months and failed to make repairs on the home, etc. My lawyer did nothing even though I was angry – she told me to stop worrying about the little things. And since all the court orders that were ordered in the previous months were ignored, I thought initialing the papers was just temporary – my divorce settlement is only seven pages, a lot of cross-outs – a disgrace. Medical was never mentioned, but in the documents sent to the judge to be filed, my lawyer added that I would be fully responsible for medical for myself and my youngest son.
• Regarding my youngest son’s education – she wrote that we would go to court if we could not agree.
• My x is also suing me because I have not transferred deed. After the inquest, I asked my lawyer to do a title search on the two properties I was awarded. She did it on the marital property. With the transfer of the deed, she sent me a copy of a judgment or lien. There is a $200,000 lien on my property; I refused to transfer the deeds because no one can tell me if the lien will come off. Another property I received has satisfaction. On the day of the inquest, I was told I would have to pay a man $2300 a month cash because my x said he used the building for collateral but didn’t explain for what. I wanted to see the note – still haven’t. So next week I am going to court. My x is suing me for legal fees,want’s to get sheriffs to take baseball cards out of the house, force me to transfer deeds and to pay a loan shark. I am going to court alone – can’t afford a lawyer. As I said, this divorce was a disgrace and handled very unprofessionally. Any advice for me would be appreciated? Do you think I have grounds to sue my lawyer, and if you do, can you recommend anyone?
I cannot overemphasize the need to find experienced, competent, matrimonial counsel when searching for legal representation in a divorce situation. From your description, it is apparent that your lawyer neglected to inform you of the terms of the proposed settlement as they were being discussed and deliberated and to properly investigate the property that was being offered to you in settlement, to see if there were any claims or liens against such property.
At this stage, you must employ experienced legal counsel to review all of the documents you have signed and to advise you on how to proceed. Do not, under any circumstances, sign any more papers until you have read them and have reviewed them with legal counsel.
These matters are too important to proceed without proper legal advice, and you must do whatever you must to get the money necessary to hire an attorney who can represent you, especially in such a situation. Failure to do so will impact you and your children for the rest of your lives.
Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions