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Is lawyer being too nice?

1dad4kids's picture

Still in the saga of the custody & access Interview. The report recommended SS10 attend 4 counseling sessions prior to a year round week on week off schedule. DH currently has that schedule during the summer only, and during the school year it's every second weekend and Wednesday evenings. Obviously it's in SS10'S best interest to have these sessions completed prior to the start of the school year, so he only has to deal with the difficult new type of school year, and not transitioning into a new parenting schedule. 

DH's lawyer has recommended that DH let the counselor take over- so to speak- and whatever the counselor recommends, whether it's more sessions or etc before the transition, DH will agree to. In an effort to be amicable and save a lot a lot of money, DH agreed. 

BM, of course, will not. In fact for the past 2 weeks she's been actively avoiding agreeing to anything. She hasn't even agreed upon a counselor and has requested ANOTHER 2 weeks time to find one. DH's lawyer requested she have her list available by the 28th, so that SS10's first session can be booked no later than July 31st. 

Well we're on holidays with SS10 the first week of August, so that leaves 3 measly weeks to cram in 4 sessions. And after those 4 sessions are done? You bet your ass she'll disagree and she'll be taking DH back to a pretrial again. 

DH finally just sent his lawyer an email tonight saying, forget it. Let's go to pretrial and just get it over with. He also suggested an interim application to keep the week on week off schedule until the counselor's sessions are over to eliminate any unnecessary transitions. 

We haven't heard back, but DH's lawyer is usually much pushier than this, so we're not sure what the hold up is. Hoping he agrees and we can get the ball rolling. SS10 is already sleeping better, he looks healthier and his siblings are loving the extra time we have with him. 

Comments of support, advice, similar situations, really anything are appreciated. 

Thanks guys. 



strugglingSM's picture

The lawyer is probably pre-occupied with another case. DH has only had one lawyer and she was a complete waste of space. If I hadn't worked with DH to outline his requests and pull together emails, texts, and documents he would have had nothing prepared for his mediation. 

I think she took DH on because she needed clients / billable hours, but then she allowed BM's lawyer to delay for over six months! This was despite the fact that BM was the one who demanded mediation and told DH in the initial letter that if she didn't get a response from him in 14 days she was taking him to court.

The lawyer even threatened to drop DH after he asked her to confirm that the mediator didn't have any bias (after BM rejected two previous suggested mediators). BM's job is she does the financials for divorce court, so she's worked with most divorce lawyers in the area. It was a nightmare...and DH's lawyer wasn't definitely phoning it in at the end. She didn't even push for complete income info from BM, but rather told DH that he could just request a modification in two years.

1dad4kids's picture

Uhg, I'm worried that might be the case. DH's lawyer has been with us since the beginning. BM is on her 4th lawyer, 2 of which have withdrawn for reasons unknown. 

However, DH's lawyer had to let go of the other lawyer in his firm for underworking. I know DH's lawyer had to pick up all of his former employees clients so I'm sure he's swamped. 

We've enticed him with offering to pay another retainer, we're hopeful that will give him a push in the right direction lol. 

tog redux's picture

DH went through a few lawyers, and in my experience, they don't really know how to deal with high conflict parents. They operate in a way that normal people will go along with, but if the other parent is high conflict, that template they operate from just doesn't work. For example, DH and BM have to "agree" on a therapist, HA! That's not going to happen. BM doesn't want him to have 50/50 and she will do what she has to do to make sure that doesn't happen.

In our case, BM was successful at that - she got SS to say he wanted more time with her and she dragged everything out for so long that DH just gave up, it wasn't worth the money OR the stress she was putting on SS. I hope yours doesn't go that way, but I'd agree that he just needs to go to pre-trial instead of trying to get BM to cooperate with anything.

1dad4kids's picture

Good point, even though DH's lawyer knows BM is HC, he still might not understand how unreasonable that makes her. 

Hopefully he agrees that going to pretrial is the logical step. 

justmakingthebest's picture

There is nothing wrong with interviewing another attorney. If you don't feel like yours if fighting for you anymore- find a new one!


1dad4kids's picture

True, but we were our lawyers first family law clients so we get an incredible deal. Not to mention the friendship we've formed over 6 years. If he doesn't change his tune after DH's last email we might be shopping around after all. 

1dad4kids's picture

UPDATE: Lawyer came back and said that it looks good for DH to attempt counseling prior to Pretrial. But he said if BM doesn't start cooperating by Tuesday then he'll file for pretrial anyway as it's been long enough. 

Hoping to get this ball rolling already. We finally get the information we need for 50/50 and BM of course still fights.