Q: How do I get a free lawyer for a family court date in wich my ex husband is in violation of paying medical expenses
Mother of three. One of wich is disabled. I pay co-pays upfront and he will not reinburse me. He claims I do not give him copies. He plays games and I have to constantly chase him to try and get medical expenses paid. Now bills have gone to collections and He owes me over $2,000 of medical co pays that I paid upfront. I feel overwhelmed and need assistance when attending the violation hearing. He is manipulating and intimidates me. I have tried to do this for over four years and he will not do the right thing.
A: This is a “good-news/bad-news” situation.
The “bad news is that if you file a Violation Petition (Infer that you have a court order directing him to reimburse you), if he is unable to afford an attorney, he’ll get an appointed attorney at no charge to him.
The good news is that if you hire an attorney, and the court finds that he has “willfully” violated a court order of support, the court “MUST” order him to pay YOUR attorney fees.
If you cannot afford an attorney, I recommend that you contact Legal Aid or, perhaps your county bar association has a Private Attorney Involvement (PAI) panel and can help you find counsel that will take your case pro bono (at no charge).
Finally, if you have not done so already, start making copies of everything you send to him (with the covering letter, email, etc.). Otherwise you might have a hard time proving that you sent him the receipts and invoices in a timely way.
Christopher N. Luhn, Esq.
A: Unfortunately, you are not eligible for a court appointed lawyer as the petitioner. You can check with legal aid or the local bar association if there are any resources to help you. In the event that you have to hire an attorney, if you win your case, the court can award you attorney's fees in addition to the monies that you are owed. I suggest that in the future, you get a certificate of mailing from the post office every time you mail a receipt to your ex and attach it to whatever bill that you sent as proof that he was notified.
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