Browns Mills, NJ asked in Child Support and Divorce for New Jersey

Q: Do I need to use a lawyer or should I use a lawyer to change my divorce decree?

My husband left me and filed for divorce 8 months later.Our divorce was final in Nov 2018. I hired a lawyer that I could afford who ended up not helping me at all. I ended up being pressured into signing over my home, getting no alimony and barely any child support for 2 children because he gets them 50% of the time. I have been trying for years to make it on my own but it is hard. I struggle. I work but because I put my education on hold while I was married, I didn't finish my bachelors degree. He never stopped working and has continued to better himself and has a great income.I can't get ahead. There are also things in our divorce decree that he has not taken care of because they do not benefit him.I don't have money for a lawyer but don't know what else to do.I need financial help or I'll always be stuck because he got everything he wanted in the divorce. I appreciate any advice on amending a decree or getting child support with or without a lawyer. Thank you!

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1 Lawyer Answer
Richard Diamond
Richard Diamond
  • Millburn, NJ
  • Licensed in New Jersey

A: You need to schedule a post-divorce consultation with a divorce law specialist to review the terms of your divorce agreement and your current setting to see if there is a proper basis for reexamination/modification/enforcement of the terms of your agreement. Most divorce lawyers will schedule an initial divorce / post-divorce consultation with you for free or at a reduced rate. Unfortunately for you, at the time of your divorce, you hired someone who was cheap and either didnt have the skillset needed or wasnt willing to push back on your husband's position. For future reference and for helping others, when you have a consultation with a specialist, he/she should be able to give you fairly clear guidance as to what you are entitled to and what you are obligated for in a divorce. If a lawyer simply tells you that he will do his best without providing you with more details/insight into what is fair and why then you should run away from him. The worst thing that you can do is hire a lawyer on a flat fee basis. Think about it - once he has your money, he wants to get your case resolved for the least amount of time and effort. If you hired a lawyer for 2500 and his normal hourly rate is 400.00, then if he is spending more than 6.25 hours in total on your case, then he is losing money. Unfortunately, too many people hire a lawyer on a flat fee basis and then cant figure out why he is doing the least amount of work on their case and why he is then pressuring the client to settle even if the settlement being offered is terrible. Dont make the same mistake twice. If you need to go back to court, educate yourself on what is fair and what you can really expect to receive from the court and pay for a competent lawyer to fight for those items.

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