Family Financial Conference Mediation


#1

My wife divorced me in October of last year and I did not contest it. In the judgement the judge ruled that equitable distribution be preserved. In January I was informed by letter from my wife’s attorney of the selected mediator and that a deadline of April 30 was set. My wife then informed me near the end of February that there would not be any mediation because she knew I could not pay my part of the fee. I contacted the mediators office and requested he call me back but never received any contact. I then received a notice to come to court for equitable distribution trial but missed the calander call , however I came the next day and found out it had been placed on the calender for this Wednesday. On this past friday I received notice that my wife’s lawyer had filed for a summary judgement of absolute divorce and the hearing is scheduled for april 5th.
I’ve written a motion asking the judge to refuse the motion for summary judgement on grounds I described above. Im going to the courthouse in the morning to file it but dont know what Im doing really. My Wife is in possession of all property, all assets and I am on disability and at sub-poverty level. She has just this past week sold one of the two cars we had for a hundred dollars. Just prior to our seperating she transferred all of the social security disability back payment award from our joint account to a seperate account in only her name the day it was deposited, over 32,000$. I can’t travel out of city and the mediator was in the next city. Also I never had any say in who it was.
My Questions are:
Can I file an order to start the selection process of the mediator over again?
If I have no lawyer, no way to get one, no assets etc and will be up against her lawyer should I request a non jury trial instead?
Is it too late to fight back?


#2

Hello I have a more specific question to add please.

When the divorce was filed, my wife requested inequitable distribution in favor of her, but in the judgement it says that a claim of equitable distribution was preserved. Does this mean that I need to still file my own claim for equitable distribution as a pleading or must everything be part of the current divorce case as motions?


#3

The motion for summary judgment is for the divorce, not Equitable Distribution.

Rather than going to mediation, I suggest you request that the court order a judicial settlement conference as a means of alternative dispute resolution, as there is no cost for such a conference.

You need to file answer and counterclaim in response to her action for equitable distribution.


#4

Thank you very much for your response, I would very much appreciate it if you could clarify the answer and counterclaim.

My assumption is that since my wife’s attorney originally filed for absolute divorce without any equitable distribution claim, since in the original complaint for the divorce it was requested inequitable in her favor, that it was the judge who, seeing that I had not contested the action and had no attorney, preserved the equitable distribution beyond the divorce in the interest of giving me chance. Now the second summary judgment motion is again an attempt to gain absolute divorce that would bar me from equitable distribution. My wife has absolutely nothing to gain in any type of ED as she literally has possession of every possible piece of marital property. I was never served or informed of any equitable distribution claim from her other than the claim for unequal distribution in her favor as part of the divorce pleading. Do I counterclaim that claim of the divorce proceeding even though it was not in the final judgment of the divorce or would I make a claim for equitable distribution on my own?

Also I will request the court order a judicial settlement conference or alternative dispute resolution, I am scheduled for pro se EDTHP Wednesday, should I file this with the clerk before or just request the order when I am at court Wednesday?


#5

If the divorce complaint references an unequal distribution, it did contain a claim for equitable distribution.

If you did not file your counterclaim within 30 days of being served with her complaint, they can seek summary judgement on the property issue as well.

You may request a judicial settlement conference at the hearing.


#6

Thank you very much for your time and help, it is very appreciated!


#7

You are most welcome, I wish you the best.