Two Questions!

  1. What is the legal term for a person who directly financially benefits from an attorney’s professional job duties, i.e. legal representation?

My ex-wife is having a sexual relationship with our county’s child support enforcement attorney. Daisy Blue, Chief of the State Child Support Section, stated my ex-wife is not a client and then said he represents the minor children and then in another letter said he represents the DSS agency. Then she referred me to the county for personnel matters so I’m trying to get the county personnel policy to be amended to include a provision that states, “county employees are prohibited from having sexual relationships with current clients,” to be in line with the social workers’ and attorneys’ professional Codes of Ethics but according to Ms. Blue, “clients” is not the word I should be using.

  1. Is child support just for “basic existence” or does it include "additional expenses, " i.e. braces, tires, class rings, lettermen jackets?

My two oldest children are a junior and senior in high school. They have been texting me to the point of almost harassment concerning “additional expenses.” My ex-wife told them that child support is only for their basic existence and that if I loved them, I would be helping with “additional expenses.” I have to work two jobs to pay my monthly bills and am on the brink of bankruptcy. I tell them that I will help them with what I can but I really can not afford additional expenses. This has really stressed the relationship between me and my children.

This afternoon, my ex-wife has been texting me (11 times) and harassing me because she bought my son two new tires even though I had told him that I would either help him get his tire plugged or get used tires at the tire shop where I get mine because I can’t afford new ones.

Child support is meant to cover the paying parents share of reasonable needs. Unless your order or agreement states that you have to contribute to specific additional expenses, you do not have to. It will be up to you about whether you want to assist in providing these things to your children.

Regarding your first question, there is no “title or name” for someone having sex with another adult, who just happens to be an attorney working for CSE. It does not appear from these facts that you have a cause of action here. It is difficult to get the rules of ethics changed.

Thank you for the information. This is what I already knew but just wanted to double check. There is nothing in our agreements saying that I have to pay additional expenses. I help my kids with other expenses when I can afford it. But my ex-wife is supposed to pay half of the medical bills but she doesn’t. When I give her the bills, she just laughs. I’ve had a couple of medical bills go to collections because I couldn’t pay them off as fast as the hospital wanted me to. Now my ex is not filing my insurance with the medical providers so I get medical bills as self pay. I can’t afford an attorney to help me with this.

I understand lawyers have a hard time understanding ethics. Let me explain further! I found that most, if not all, attorneys are adults. My ex-wife is not having a sexual relationship with someone who just happens to be an attorney and just happens to work at DSS. In 2010, before this relationship started, I received a letter from this specific attorney on behalf of my ex-wife, not my children, and he requested my W-2’s and paycheck stubs for the past two years. This specific attorney represented my ex-wife in open court in front of an adult judge concerning child support and requested a continuance on behalf of my ex-wife, not my children. For the past two years, I had received letters from this attorney stating that unless I protest, DSS will garnish my state income tax return because I am still paying back child support for the year and a half we were separated. My oldest son will turn 18 next year. I did not want this specific attorney, who is having a sexual relationship with my ex-wife, to be involved in the matter. So I filed a complaint with the NC Dept. of Health and Human Services. They stated they found it “appropriate” to remove this specific attorney from my case. Now, an attorney who does not work for DSS is handling my child support case.

So is there no “title or name” for my ex-wife in this situation or is she just having a sexual relationship with a random adult with a random job at some random place?

I’m not trying to change the Code of Ethics. The National Association of Social Workers, the North Carolina State Bar, and the American Bar Association already have crystal clear codes of conduct for this type of situation. I am only trying to have them recognized.

I was easily able to find some basic definitions of a “client” online: 1) A person who engages the professional advice or services of another. 2) A person served by or utilizing the services of a social agency.

I don’t have a juris doctorate but I would think my ex-wife would fall under the title “client” in this situation.

The National Association of Social Workers’ Code of Ethics states, “Social workers should under no circumstances engage in sexual activities or sexual contact with current clients, whether such contact is consensual or forced.” An intelligent person would think all Departments of Social Services including Child Support Enforcement would follow this professional Code of Ethics.

The North Carolina State Bar’s Rules of Professional Conduct declare, “A lawyer shall not have sexual relations with a current client of the lawyer.” The American Bar Association’s Model Rules of Professional Conduct claim that a sexual relationship between a lawyer and a client is “in violation of the lawyer’s basic ethical obligation not to use the trust of the client to the client’s disadvantage” and “introduces a clear conflict of interest into a case.” It concludes by saying, “the Rule prohibits the lawyer from having sexual relations with a client regardless of whether the relationship is consensual and regardless of the absence of prejudice to the client.” I have no idea why any attorney would not be aware of this.

Does it now appear from these facts that I have a cause for action? I think I do. But my stumbling block is the definition of a “client” because obviously no one knows what a “client” is.

So may I ask one more time a simple question, “What is the legal term for a person who directly financially benefits from an attorney’s professional job duties, i.e. legal representation?

I am sorry but I cannot help you. If CSE says she’s not a client, then she’s not their client.

Thank you for allowing me to bounce my questions off of you.

I found it amazing that the term “client” is used throughout the North Carolina State Bar’s Rules of Professional Conduct but I could not find a definition for “client” on their website.

But I have found the smoking gun. Even though the Chief of the North Carolina Department of Social Services Child Support Enforcement Section wrote me a letter and stated that the DSS attorneys do not represent individual clients, the North Carolina Department of Social Services Child Support Enforcement’s own glossary of terms on their website, defines a client as “the custodian or caretaker for the minor child(ren), who is receiving CSE services.” My ex-wife would fall under that definition.

As Kurt Cobain said, “Hey! Wait! I got a new complaint!”:slight_smile:

Best of luck to you!