Posted by a Divorce client
Did not represent me even in the smallest way. Did not fight for anything I asked her to do. Felt as if she was just in it for the money instead of working for me. My case could gave been done in a few months but took much longer because she drug her feet on getting paperwork out to the other party. She allowed the other lawyer to dictate the terms and did not argue to my satisfaction if at all and told be there was nothing she could do. I ended up with all the bills and the debt to include having to pay alimony which she said I would not have to. Any loss that stuff was sold for I would have had to take the loss, but if I sold for profit I would've had to divide that up. I tried to argue for stuff I had before the marriage and received no help in getting it, she told me it was not worth her time. It seems I could have saved the money in paying for a lawyer and got the same results. I ended up with all the bills and still having to pay alimony. The other party got away with not paying for any debt from the marriage and with most everything out of the house. It seemed that she did not want to argue anything she just wanted to get the money and get the case over with. She kept trying to convince me to let things go and not contest.
Posted by a Child Support client
When divorcing my ex-husband in 2007, Suzanne came across as an excellent lawyer. Everything she did was by the book, all t's crossed and i's dotted. My child and I were even allowed to move back to our home state. Then, 2 years after the divorce was finalized, I was served with papers from my ex regarding child support. The opposing attorney was asking for two years of documentation that I did not have. They wanted to know about my assets and things that pertained to an original divorce, not child support. Though I, as a single mom, had no assets, I tried to come up with whatever paperwork was needed. Because I worked a second shift job, I was originally permitted by the courts to use a private daycare, which I had documentation of paying (copies of canceled checks). I did not have 2 years of bank statements, but about nine months worth. I had my w-2s and my pay stubs. I also had a letter from my employer stating my wages and hours. During this second round with a dead beat parent, Suzanne was not anywhere near as professional and active in the case as the first time around. Her paralegal handled almost all of this case, and then quit before it was finalized. In the long run, Suzanne lost the case horribly for me on the grounds that I was not using a daycare facility. Not only did I lose all of the help with paying for daycare, but quite a bit of the child support too. On top of it all, she signed documents in my name without a recent power of attorney. She never sent me one paper on the case until it was finalized. This was when I had found many errors, such as the father's income. It was stated to be almost 3,000 dollars less a month than what it really was. She even got my child's age wrong. Now, up to this point, my parents had payed her almost 15,000 dollars. I still owed her 5,000. Given the lowered support, I was only able to make minimum payments. My child comes first. This was when SHE sued ME. I now have a judgement against me from her. Right after she sued me, she emailed me to wish my child a happy birthday. To top it all off, none of the second case should have legally been tried in Washington. It was not my child's nor my state of residency. I had found out through default that the case had technically been closed in Washington and should have been heard in my home state. Is this not something that a lawyer should have known? So not only did I lose support for my child, and have a judgement placed against me, the judgement was for money she "earned" illegally. I strongly recommend that this lawyer not be used.
Posted by charles
i hired her based on the add in the yellow pages which indicates caring about children. i meet with her for free consultation and decided to hire her. at that time she indicated to me that i should seek 50% custody of our 6yr old son based on my work schedule which allows me availability to be a parent. one day after i hired her, my wife had her attorney file and serve a temporary dissolution. i was told that i needed to write a response to the dissolution to also be filed. i was not given any instruction to achieve this but was able to get the information from the internet. we emailed my response back and forth to edit it. i virtually wrote about 80- to 90% of the documents. at one point i questioned the condition of her edits and was told defensively that she had to spend 3 hours rewriting my documents because they were poor. i doubt that. when we meet with my wife and her attorney to file our legal seperation the next week, i asked ms. bartelson about the 50% custody and she told me that if either party is not in agreement that 50% custody would not occur. i told her that if she had told me that early on, i would not have requested it because i knew my wife would never allow it. this also caused my wife to get overly aggressive. at the time of our filing the legal seperation, i had agreed to move out of our home within 30 days. at the filing i was given documents to sign but was rushed and really not able to review them. the one that i should have reviewed was my child support schedule. the documents were filled out incorrectly and caused me to have to pay $200 more in child support each month. ms. Bartelson was aware of the correct figures but allowed the opposing attorney to use her schedule which was based on a copy of a worksheet that i had filled out incorrectly during our edit process.my wife retrieved the copy off my email account and provided it to her attorney. a big issue that i stated to ms. bartelson was that i needed to have access to the shop at our house for the winter to store things during the divorce process. once the legal seperation occured, my wife began a process of harrassment which i saw that i could not stay in our home for the 30 days i was given. i immediately moved out and my wife and her attorney began requesting that i vacate the shop also. ms. bartelson contacted me several times about this issue even after i stated to her that it was not possible and that it was the only agreement that i asked her to maintain. there were a few more motions filed by my wifes attorney which were resolved by agreement. i hired ms. bartelson in the beginning of oct and by mid dec. i reviewed my support schedule and realized that i was paying $200 more on my support than was needed. i called ms. bartelson to discuss my feelings about her short comings with my case but before i could list the multiple issues she cut me short and said she needed to remove herself from the case.at that time there was a motion in court to allow my wife to take our son on a winter vacation for three weeks. i was opposed to this because my time with him was reduced to 20% visitation and i wanted him to stay with me for the 3 weeks.she abandoned me at a critical point. in 2 1/2 months i spent $4,500 utilizing ms. bartelson and i spent $1000 in child support overage which i never recooperated. where divorce attorneys feel that they are due $200 - $250 per hour to provide poor service or to charge you for their time when you call to see why they are not working on your case. i spent an extra $2,800 on my next attorney which did absolutely no legal work but was to help file my finalized "mediated" dissolution. the $2800 was spent on me calling his legal aid from feb. to june to see why the divorce was not finalized. in the end, the majority of the dissolution documents that were signed and filed were from my original documents. my wifes attorney used my drafts. something is wrong with spokane's divorce attorneys.