Concern Re: Verbiage In Absolute Divorce Papers

I just signed my final divorce papers and they will be filed next Friday 11/18 (that is one year and one day! YIPPIEE!!) In looking at the papers, I’m concerned. Yes I read the paperwork before I left his office. However, he nor his assistant were there and I signed them with the notary. She couldn’t really answer my question. I sent my attorney an email asking this but I rarely hear from him except for things that are of pressing matters.

The wording says “That upon final hearing of this matter, Plaintiff’s attorney, ___ ___ ___, be released as attorney of record.”

I have support and equitable distribution in claims pending. Does this mean that he is no longer my attorney after the divorce is final and he will no longer represent me in these claims that are currently reserved for a hearing at a later date and that I have to find another attorney? Or does it just mean the divorce is final and that’s just some legal verbiage that is in every final divorce decree??

Additionally, say the paperwork is filed (in Union County) on Friday 11/18 and say for the sake of argument that the STBX files for the 30 day extension just because he can (because he’s a jerk that way) … approximately what am I looking at as far as a time frame regarding when this divorce will ultimately be final?

Thank you, as always, for your help. :slight_smile:

This is a statement from Rule 16 which allows someone to be released as attorney of record. You can ask your attorney for their reason for getting out of the case. It could be that there are financial issues, or because the relationship between the two of you has broken down. Alternatively, it could be because your client agreement was only for the divorce issue. For example, if a client retains an attorney to create a consent order, then typically the attorney will include this language in the order since they are only in the case for that specific issue and haven’t been retained to cover other matters that could develop.

Yes, your ex could file on the 29th day. He can file for an extension of time to answer, giving him another 30 days, or he could file an answer which might require you to amend your complaint. You would then have to serve the amended complaint on him again, and he would have another 30 days to answer that complaint too. It can get tedious, but hang in there.

Surprisingly, I heard back from the attorney and he stated that it was just basic verbiage and it didn’t have anything to do with him representing me for the claims that are currently pending. He said:

“We always put in a case when we finish that I be relieved as attorney of record so any further motions would have to be served personally on you and not just by sending me a copy. It has nothing to do with the other case.”

So that made me feel a little better I guess. But now I’m getting a little concerned about the “absolute divorce” information you gave me. We have been separated for a year and a day (or will be by the time it’s filed) and we have not attempted reconciliation. He can’t contest it so how can the absolute divorce be dragged out? My attorney said that he could file one (30) day extension and that was it. Beyond that, there was nothing else he could do to drag it out as there is nothing to amend in the divorce. What could he say that would force me to amend my initial complaint?

Thanks much!!

The main way to delay it at this point would be for STBX to file an Answer that requires you to amend your Complaint. Then you’d have to serve the amended Compaint on him again and wait up to another 30 days for another Answer. You can try to get him to sign a waiver to avoid the addtional delay for the amended complaint. Amendments can be anything from a trivial issue to a big one. He can say that you separated or married on a different date. Or, it can be a typo. The good news is, he cannot delay a divorce indefinitely. One extension of time is usually all that’s granted, and then he might be able to make you amend your Complaint, so you’re looking at a potential 60 day delay at the most. Hopefully none of this will apply to your case.

Ah, well I’ve looked over the complaint and there are no typos and he cannot contest the date of marriage and/or separation because he has already agreed to those dates in all of the other paperwork so I feel better now. Thank you so much for your time. :slight_smile:

It looks like you are all set then. Good luck to you!

I need help. I did the papers for my divorce from Rosen when we got to court the said the papers were not right. I had missed signing one of the forms. He put the case back on the court docket for next month. The judge said I need Amended papers, I have talked to a lawyer and they said I would have to start over and it would cost me about $375.00 which I don’t have. I don’t understand if my ex has been served why do we need to start over and I have already paid the court and filing fees. Is there anything else I can do.
I distress.

Based on your post, I’m not quite sure why your divorce wasn’t entered, but it sounds like you may have to file an amended complaint. If you have already filed a divorce complaint, you should be able to file an amended complaint without having to pay the filing fee again. If the opposing party was already served, you should not have to serve him through sheriff or certified mail again, but you will need to go through all the other steps again to get the divorce entered.