Q: Is there recourse if I have hired an attorney, paid a $3500 retainer for custody/divorce case and no progress in case?
Lawyer has only been present for 1 appointment, he sends his paralegal. This has gone on for 3 months (divorce/custody case) We feel like there is no progress, maybe because we are not able to talk to the lawyer. Can I request the money back and find a new lawyer or should I be patient? I was told I can't go back into my home (that I owned before marrying) I am living with friends which is a major inconvenience. Also, in the preliminary papers, soon to be ex wife is supposed to be making house payment. She hasn't made any house payments since this began. Do I have recourse if she continues to not make payment? I am worried the house will soon be foreclosed.
As far as the retainer, ask for a statement of hours spent on the case. An attorney must hold the retainer in a trust account until the money is earned. You should get a statement setting out the time spent on your case so you can see how the retainer was applied. If no work truly has been done, then you are entitled to a refund of unearned money. Communication is key in these situations. Communicate with your lawyer in writing. Don't be afraid to ask questions. Demand that the attorney is the one answering your questions. Attorneys can get into a bad habit of relying on paralegals and staff.
As for the house payments, as long as the temporary orders have been put into a court-order form, you can enforce her duty to pay by the threat of contempt.
If you are concerned about loosing the house, make the payment yourself, or at least talk to the bank to see what is going on. Anytime you communicate about your case, you build a record. This is important. Good luck.
1 user found this answer helpful
A: If you could have a conversation with the attorney, then make sure the first topic of discussion is your concern about the missed payments on the house. In general it is best to try and work with the attorney if you are can. The cost to retain another attorney can be cost prohibitive. Good luck.
1 user found this answer helpful
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