I don't need a shark, but I do need someone strong - is there a happy medium?
July 11, 2012 7:48 AM Subscribe
Can anyone recommend experienced family law attorneys in the New Orleans are who aren't sharks?
posted by doyouknowwhoIam? to law & government (4 answers total)
(Apologies in advance for the length.)
When I originally signed my consent judgment for custody and child support, I ended up paying both spousal support and child support to my ex-husband, we agreed on split custody of our six-year-old daughter (which I think is good for her; she needs to see both her parents) and we both agreed that she should continue to attend the same school she was already enrolled in, with her half-brother. (He had a $5000 lawyer - literally - and I went through the Modest Means program. His lawyer is experienced and ruthless, and my lawyer had just passed the bar. It did not go well for me in general, even with just dividing the shared belongings.)
Within a month of signing the actual divorce paperwork, my ex got re-married to someone living about 30 miles away. He and his new wife make a combined income of close to $100k; I make $33k. I'm unable to drive because I have epilepsy, and public transportation will not take me to the rural area he lives in now. He's outright refusing to bring her to the assigned meeting place in our consent judgment. Taking a cab to his house, or even halfway, is out of the question for financial reasons, and my work carpool isn't going to take me 35 miles out of their way twice a week. He's pushing for her to just live out there full-time, because it's such a better neighborhood, which I will not let happen. He's also suggesting, to her, that it would be better for her to go to school in his school district, with his new step-son, even though the step-son is in middle school and Little Girl is only in first grade. She's excited, of course, because instead of going to school with her autistic brother - at an amazing school - she'll be going to school with New Step-Brother! Who's awesome! And twice her age! Beyond the logistics involved that would make it impossible for me to get her on my assigned days, I don't think she needs to change schools. There's no reason to create a disruption. She's been through enough, and I know there will be more down the line. (New wife is pushy - in general - and hates that my ex has to drive Little Girl back and forth, even though he works 10 minutes away. New wife has been exceptionally rude with me; she rationalizes it as "I'm just one of those people that tells it like it is" which really means she's just rude. I don't see this getting better any time soon.)
I'm making a little more money now than I was, and I can afford to put down a deposit of $1000 - $1500 for a new lawyer. I need to make sure she stays in her current school, keep the meeting place and actual custody as is, and renegotiate the child support payments (the alimony will be finished this month). I need someone that can actually be an advocate for Little Girl and our little family. Does anyone have any suggestion?