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If she has legal aid can she drag this on as long as she wants?

Minneapolis, MN |

unmarried custody case.. she has legal aid i don't.. Can she drag this on as long as she wants since she doesnt have to worry about paying an attorney? she knows im paying for my attorney so i believe she will drag it on until i can no longer afford it just so i can agree to what she wants out of this. I dont think its fair that i have to pay for my attorney and she gets one free but it is what it is. So im seeing if there are other options.

Attorney Answers 3


If she drags the case on and this can be shown to the judge, the judge has discretion to award conduct-based attorney's fees (in other words order mom to pay you for your attorney for the parts she dragged on).

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In custody cases the parties do not really control the schedule. The court does. So she could only delay matters for good cause.

Also, legal aid lawyers do not get paid hourly for their cases. So I would think that they have zero incentive to delay. They want things over sooner than later.

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You have asked the best question yet on this site! The answer to your question is 100% YES! In my nearly two decades of private practice, one of my biggest challenges is working with legal aid attorneys. Almost universally, they delay and delay....they aren't on a clock, and their clients aren't screaming at them about their bills. They get paid regardless (ironically, one portion of the annual attorney licensure fee we're required to pay goes towards funding legal aid (as do your taxes), so by paying your attorney, you're actually helping, in a small way, to pay for her attorney). Legal aid attorneys tend to be very stubborn and make ridiculous demands that cannot possibly be met. Unfortunately for you, there are no other options. If Legal Aid took her case, you're stuck with it, and unless their attorney does something REALLY outrageous, no judge will hammer them for their tactics.

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