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HC lawyer?!?

1dad4kids's picture

Another blog post- sorry guys. I just love the support and the insight. Although I'm getting closer to "getting it" all the time, your experience and knowledge has been so helpful for DH and I. 

After the pretrial/conference there were 2 general "conclusions" from the judge.

1 was that DH should be imputed income, decidedly because he did not believe DH was honest in how much work I did for the company and that our 51/49 partnership was inaccurate. 

2 was that the counselor would be presented with a letter outlining their legal obligations.

So first off, DH took SS10 to counseling this week and booked his next session afterwards. After that, they had their pretrial/conference and BM said during it that the counselor suggested each session be 3 weeks apart. DH had booked his session 2 weeks apart so he emailed the counselor after the pretrial the make sure it was alright. She confirmed it was but said she was sending a progress email to follow up. 

Her email said she would like to meet with DH & BM together, without SS10. The purpose of that meeting would be to get them on the same page. The counselor said she would then like to work out a plan between the current schedule and getting to 50/50 and once that plan was in place she would be comfortable helping SS10 start the transition. 

Well that email put BM and her lawyer in a tizzy. BM's lawyer drafted a super bias letter to the counselor for DH's lawyer to review (DH received the email chain) and DH's lawyer put it back into neutral zone. BM's lawyer comes back with a letter twice as bias as before. She then insists it be on her offices letterhead stating that BM's view of the counselor was right so the letter shouldn't come from DH's lawyer. 

DH's lawyer responded by saying they need to get the judge back on the phone and they can each present their letter to him and let him pick. Lol.

DH sent his lawyer an email shortly afterwards and asked what would happen if he (DH) sent the C&A interviewer an email requesting clarification of the counselor's role. 

Then DH went outside to clean up the truck and his lawyer and wife were walking by outside the house. His lawyer said they needed to go for ice cream to unwind after the email exchange from BM's HC lawyer. 

How do you handle a high conflict lawyer? 

This is a mess


notsurehowtodeal's picture

The only upside is it is costing BM lots of money - is she paying the lawyer herself?

3 weeks seems like a long time between therapy sessions - did the therapist really make that recommendation?

That is just going to prolong getting to 50/50.

1dad4kids's picture

We have no idea how she's paying for this all.Shes claiming to be broke and needing more child support but is somehow affording a lawyer. 

The counselor said 2-3 weeks when DH clarified. But she also said she wasn't concerned if they were closer to accomodate SS10's availability. 

He's already had 3 sessions and stated she's ready to transition him whenever BM and DH agree on the transition plan. Which will be never

tog redux's picture

So - what did the judge mean by the counselor's "Legal obligations".  At least here we have no obligation to do anything except respond to a judge's subpoena.

And what was the bias in BM's attorney's letter? That SS wasn't ready to go to 50/50, or a different interpretation of the CA assessment?

If the therapist is wise (and she sounds like she is), she will see the bias and won't listen to the attorneys.  I don't listen to attorneys for either parent, of course they are biased, they are paid to be biased whether they agree with it or not.

I'd plow forward - the counselor doesn't sound like she's going to be swayed by this, unless the "legal obligation" from the judge puts her off.

And BM here borrowed from her BF at the time, and her other son who was an adult for court costs. I doubt either got paid back, lol

1dad4kids's picture

I guess the judge meant providing a recommendation for SS10 and how to go about it. The bias in BM"s letter was that it was not determined that SS10 should have 50/50. And that BM should be the one who determines, basically.  But without saying those specific words. That SS10 would never be ready for a new parenting arrangement. 

BM's DH "lost his job" and is in a current court battle for his kids AND now through his work. She has no family except her Aunty/Mom who works as a secretary and is an outspoken member of her union claiming they don't get paid enough. 

Maybe she has a line of credit or something. Who knows. 


strugglingSM's picture

In my limited experience, high conflict people usually choose high conflict lawyers. 

I would let your lawyer handle BM's HC lawyer. 

Sadly, I have reached the conclusion that HC people usually "win" in family law matters. They are not above lying and they will not stop, so they win the battle of the wills. As opposed to more rational people who often tire of the drama and decide it's not worth it.

In the nearly six years, DH and I have been together, he's had two mediations with HCBM. Both were demanded by her in moments deemed crises, by her. In both, she got concessions from DH and he got a few changes he wanted that she never followed. In the second, he had proof that she lied and didn't follow what they agreed to, but she also had an HC, a-hole of a lawyer, while DH had a mouse of a lawyer (as background, BM works on financials for divorce cases, so DH had trouble finding a lawyer who would work with him). BM also entered the mediation screaming that SSs were both "in crisis" because they were so terrified of coming to our home...and even DH's dumb dumb of a brother believed her. Surprise, surprise, once BM got more child support (which wasn't even among her stated reasons for the mediation), both SSs were fine coming to our home. Meanwhile, we spent $17k and the only thing we got for it was a revised holiday schedule that BM has vowed she won't ever follow. 

1dad4kids's picture

Yes DH's lawyer is definitely handling her lawyer. But the go between is frustrating for everyone. 

DH will not agree to anything BM says without the judge ordering it, and DH is under no obligation to agree to the pretrial discussions. Which is why we're headed to court for the CS. Unfortunately the pretrial for the new parenting schedule doesn't happen until November so the judge wants the counseling sorted out before then

CastleJ's picture

During our court proceedings, BM also had a high conflict lawyer. It worked in her favor because she was a shark, but it also delayed the process, costs lots more money, and meant being dragged back to court several times. We had to have 3 settlement hearings because we would all go and then BM's attorney would interpret what she thought it all meant, instead of what the judge intended leading to a lot of back and forth. 

BM emailed DH several times asking we drop our case because it was taking too much time and money. In reality, that was he attorneys fault and BM refused to ever settle. We were at the end of our rope financially and DH had to cave on some things just to prevent continuing this court process. BM's attorney was all about dragging it out, revisiting court a million times and arguing via email over wording. 

1dad4kids's picture

BM will never, ever, concede. Our only hope out of this is a judgement or DH conceding (which he will not do).

tog redux's picture

You guys aren't at the concede point for either issue.  My DH conceded after years and years of this nonsense. Let the judge rule on both issues and see what he says.

For us, the money stuff was more cut and dry, there are laws about how it's handled, and BM couldn't manipulate the money into saying it wanted to go with her. 

1dad4kids's picture

Lol, that made me laugh. 

We've no intentions of conceding. DH's lawyer wanted to entertain the scenerios for a settlement with the CS but DH flat out said no

1dad4kids's picture


DH's lawyer told DH to email the C&A Interviewer to get clarification on the counselor's role. Technically DH is not supposed to talk to the Interviewer anymore but really what other choice did he have? There's a reason BM and her lawyer haven't gone this route, the counselor's role is actually pretty well defined in the assessment but there's a tiny bit of room for interpretation. Especially if you disagree with it. 

Will post back if DH hears back from the counselor. 

1dad4kids's picture

She's far from a single Mom. And her lawyer is in the same law firm as her DH's lawyer. She's new though, this is like her first year as an acting lawyer so who knows what the fees are