And to top it off, the lawyer is now charging my sister for the amount her ex won't pay. Plus he is in the Marines, but his command won't enforce the settlement. What should she do?
Divorce / Separation Lawyer
Your sister hired her attorney, so her attorney is entitled to get paid by her. She is responsible for collecting from her ex.
At this point, your sister has a collection problem, not a family law problem. it appears her attorney's usefulness is done if he or she can't collect from a service member. Most family law attorneys don't have experience with military divorces or collections, so it's time for your sister to switch to one who does.
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1 lawyer agrees
I agree with Doug. Your sisters attorney is entitled to be paid for his/her time, and it is your sister's repsonsibilty to pay her attorney.
The court has ordered her ex-husband to pay her $10K, but that does not mean he is going to pay willingly. Collecting a debt from a military member is a specialized area. If your sister's attorney wont go get the $10K, your sister needs to find a debt collection attorney familiar with collecting from service members.
This is not legal advice and I do not represent you. Good Luck.
Family Law Attorney
(1) Your sister owes the debt to the attorney regardless of her husband's duty to do so. She will probably have to pay the attorney, then collect from the husband. She should contact the attorney to see if the attorney will hold off on collection to see if she can get the husband to pay. (2) In some situations the court can directly order payment by a certain deadline. If the husband refuses to do so, he may be in contempt of court, leading to other court sanctions for disobeying the order. (3) It may be possible for your sister to return to court, explain the problem, and then get the $10,000 converted from attorneys fees to an award of maintenance. Maintenance can often be collected directly from DFAS, the military paymaster.
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