Equitable Distribution Timeframes/Delays

Hello. My husband walked out on me and our 2 sons in 2004 (he had been having a long-time affair). We had no separation agreement or child custody/child support arrangements in writing. We were separated for six years - from February 2004 until I finally filed for divorce in March 2010, which was granted in May 2010. We are 2 years post divorce and STILL no closer to a property settlement/ED than we were in May 2010. My Ex, his attorney, and my attorney seem content to delay and drag this out, all the while my attorney keeps billing me for what appears to me as “doing nothing”. My attorney does not respond to emails or phone calls. If you want to see him, you have to go by his office between 5pm - 7pm, and its a first come first serve basis. The last time we even went to court was May 2011 (due to contempt of court proceeding against my ex). The only real property that is in question is a residence that has sat vacant for 15 months now (which the court ordered we split the monthly mortgage payment) and our retirement accounts. Everyone keeps telling me how CRAZY this is and that it should not have gone on this long and that I should fire my lawyer. I have so much money already invested in this already, but he has sent me yet another statement demanding $3,000 if I want him to continue to represent him. I paid him $2500 back in February . . . yet I don’t see that he has done anything!!!

  • Is there ANYTHING I can do?
  • How long can they continue to postpone, delay, not do anything to end this nightmare?
  • Can I get another attorney at this stage of the process?
  • Any suggestions?

THANKS!!! I hope you will respond. I am very depressed, frustrated, and barely making ends meet having to pay my mortgage, half of the other mortgage, paying my useless attorney, and still supporting our two sons (both over 18 but unemployed). PLEASE HELP!!!

That sounds like a difficult situation. Depending on the county, progress in family court may depend on the attorneys. You can always fire your attorney, and try your luck with someone else.

Thank you for your reply. I’m in Alamance County. What is involved if I fire my attorney? Would it still have to be settled in Alamance County? I don’t want to do anything that would take even longer or make things worse. Thanks for any advice.

If the case is pending in Alamance County, you will likely have to find an attorney there to take it on. You will need to find a new attorney, and have him or her notify your previous counsel that they are taking over the file.