Help please! My ex is an attorney!

Dear Heather,

I am really sorry to hear about your situation. Fortunately, you found our website, and this is the forum on which you can ask questions.

Based on what you’ve told me, you may have a problem with the order. Generally, until the judge has signed the order, it is not effective. Unless the judge specifically notes in the order that it should date back to a certain date, which would make him liable for those 2 months he’s missed, he won’t have to pay until the order is signed. You should have your attorney contact the judge’s office to find out if the order has been signed, and when it will be effective.

As far as your visitation schedule, the way to have the current schedule modified is to be able to show the court that there has been a substantial change in circumstances. Unfortunately, it doesn’t sound like there has been any change that would warrant a judge changing the current set up. What you might want to do is to keep a journal of the visits and what occurs on those visits over the next several months. If you can show the court a clear pattern of missed visits, or visits that were spent mostly in day care, you may be able to convince a judge that reducing the visitation to your former husband is reasonable. It may take you a while to document this, so be patient.

Good luck!

Shonnese D. Stanback
The Rosen Law Firm
4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 200
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.256.1534 direct voice
919.256.1667 direct fax
919.787.6668 main voice
919.787.6361 main fax

The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service but a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action.

Do you have a page on your website for questions that can be answered by one of your attorneys? I need some professional help and advice. My ex-husband is an attorney and has not paid his child support since August 7th. He specializes in divorce, child support, and child custody, so he must know the loopholes in the law that he can use to get around his obligations. We have been to court (we had to go through litigation and a long, drawn-out custody trial) but the consent order has not been signed by the judge yet. The judge ordered him to pay his child support on the first of every month, but he hasn’t made a payment of any amount since August 7th, 2003, so he is now 2 months behind. What can I do? Also, if I am completely distraught over the judge’s award of visitation (6 weeks in the summer, non-consecutive), what can I do? I do not think that the judge ruled in the best interests of my child. I am a school teacher of special needs children and I have the summers out of school. My ex-husband, being an attorney, will not have that much time to spend with our daughter and will most likely have in her daycare during each 2 week period that she is with him or place her with his retired mom and dad, who live 2 1/2 hours away from him. He has been awarded this time during the summer when I could be spending a lot of quality time with her one-on-one. He also went the first 6 months after we separated without even seeing her or sending support (he did send $200 the first month and said for me to buy her something “cool” with it). Why should a judge award someone who went 6 months without being there for our daughter an additional 6 weeks a year and take that away from me? There are other issues - such as my ex-husband having been fired from a previous law firm that he worked for (and his ex-boss telling me that I could compel him to undergo a medical evaluation) and having been evicted from one apartment complex and receiving an eviction notice from the next apartment complex that he moved into, about a month after he initially moved in. Please help me and advise me as to what I can do legally. Thank you SO MUCH I’m at my wit’s end and I just can’t figure out why this judge ruled the way he did! There must be something I can do. It’s just not fair and it’s clear to all who have heard my side, except this judge.