What can happen in a divorce like this?
July 25, 2012 8:59 AM Subscribe
My friend's and his ex are divorcing. The ex is being financially irresponsible, which could be influencing the outcome of the settlement. The lawyer has suddenly dropped of the face of the earth. What can my friend do to find out what's going on?
posted by chatelaine to human relations (18 answers total)
A close friend of mine is going through a no-fault divorce. They have no children. She moved out long ago and is living locally with her family; he's living in the house they had together.
Both my friend and his ex have lawyers, but for the sake of simplicity and to avoid incurring more costs, they agreed to work primarily through her lawyer.
At this point, both my friend and his ex have submitted all the necessary documentation, records, etc. to her lawyer. The only thing that now remains is the settlement.
The divorce process began in May of this year; it started out moving rather quickly and my friend was told (by her lawyer) that this was a relatively simple divorce case and as such would be a priority case for her, one that could be resolved in a matter of weeks.
They were both issued a "financial restraining order" which mandates that neither party can do anything fiscally irresponsible (e.g., no buying that island in the sun) until after the divorce is complete. It also mandates that each party must continue to pay all their bills and meet all their regular financial obligations.
A few weeks ago, out of the blue, my friend started receiving messages from debt collectors who were asking for his ex. The calls became very persistent. Finally, he informed them that she no longer lived there and gave them her contact info at her family's house, and since then, the collections calls have stopped. Judging by the extent of the calls prior to that time, she must have seriously
ruined her credit in a very short time, something he informs me she had never had a problem with before. All of the credit cards are in her name; he is not affiliated with her credit accounts in any way whatsoever.
Around the same time that the collection calls started, the contact from her lawyer came to an abrupt halt. The lawyer would only communicate via email (no phone calls), but now there is hardly any
communication from the lawyer at all. My friend is understandably feeling a bit anxious to have some kind of update on the settlement. He has sent several emails of a courteous and professional nature requesting any kind of response and has not heard anything back.
So the questions are:
1. Will her credit issues affect the outcome of the settlement (in other words, can he end up getting screwed in the settlement because of her current financial problems, which did not begin until after the divorce paperwork was submitted by both parties, and even though his name is not associated with her credit cards)?
2. Does anyone have any insights into her financial behaviour? In terms of the timing, it seems interesting. Is this some kind of ploy or game? Is what she's doing slowing down the settlement process?
3. Why is the lawyer suddenly so unresponsive? What can my friend do in order to facilitate more frequent communication with his ex's lawyer?
This is in the state of Nevada, fyi.