My divorce was nasty and expensive but completed a while ago. My husband was to have settled all monies owed to me and eliminated my name from all debt a while ago too. None of that has happened despite racking up additional legal fees to go back to court. The money he owes me along with the debt resulution would enable me to pay my attorneys. They are now suing me for that same money that their efforts have not yet gotten into my hands. How do I get the money from my ex and how do I get my attorneys off my back?
DUI / DWI Attorney
Although Richard Kulerski does not practice in New Jersey, his instincts are correct. Your obligation to pay your counsel fees are not conditioned upon your receiving payment from your ex-husband. However, you do have the right to return to Court and file a Motion for Enforcement of Litigant's Rights, i.e. to have your ex-husband held in contempt for failure to honor the Court's previous order. This Motion should also include a demand for additional counsel fees in connection with your having to file the Motion for Enforcement of Litigant's Rights. Had your ex-husband complied with the Court's original order, these additional counsel fees would not have been necessary. Unfortunately, it sounds like the same attorney will be unwilling to represent you any further in this matter (based upon the fact that he is suing your for nonpayment of fees). I suggest that you seek out new counsel to file the Motion described above. Your motion should also include a demand for reimbursement of the additional expenses and/or counsel fees in connection with your having to respond to the complaint for counsel fees filed by your first attorney. Again, if your ex-husband had complied with the Court's original order, you would not have been placed in the position of defending this lawsuit either.
Divorce / Separation Lawyer
I do not practice law in NJ and do not know the wording of the pertinent provisions of your divorce judgment, but I doubt if your obligation to pay your attorneys is conditional on your ex paying you. I believe the two obligations have no legal connection.
Consult with a NJ attorney and take your husband back to court for enforcement.