Asked 4 months ago - Edison, NJFlag
My ex and I agreed to have an uncont div and we had a PSA drawn up by her attorney (I did have a attorney review). Their attorney was 'suppose' to keep me in the loop and handle all the docs with the court. The attorney has lied about things and then tried to keep a copy of the countersigned PSA from me. They also have failed to tell me the hearing date, as they stated they would do. (I do have a letter from the attorney with the details of our agreement) I did not receive anything from the court regarding a hearing date. I’m assuming b/c they think her attorney is letting me know? I did call the ct and found out the hearing date. I’m worried this attorney will blind-side me at the hearing and try to change our agreement. Any suggestions? Can I let the court know what happened?
It sounds as if you have not filed an Answer or other responsive pleading to your ex's Complaint for Divorce. That would explain why the court is not directly communicating with you, i.e. providing you with notices of scheduled appearances. Your ex's attorney represents your ex and you cannot rely upon that attorney to protect your interest. If you do not know what you are doing you should seriously consider retaining an attorney to protect your interest. In the event you elect not to retain an attorney you should at a minimum file a responsive pleading, i.e. Answer, to your ex's Complaint for Divorce so that you are provided by the court with an opporunity to protect your interests.
Kenneth A. White, Esq.
New Jersey Family Law Attorney
I agree with Mr. White. However, what is not clear from your question is: Have you received a copy of the Complaint for Divorce? If not, the divorce case cannot go forward. If you have received the Complaint, were you served personally with it or did you sign a form called an Acknowledgment of Service? If not, the divorce case cannot go forward. I second Mr. White's recommendation that you retain a very experienced Divorce Attorney.
Mr. White's response is thorough and well-reasoned. I will only add that you wife's attorney cannot negotiate a contract with you, which you then sign, and then unilaterally change the terms of that agreement. That is unethical and actionable.
That aside, you should always retain a copy of any document you sign, even if it is not counter-signed by the other party, to protect yourself.
I think you may need to consult with an attorney further to cover any other issues you may have filing your Answer with the court.
I recommend that you meet with an experienced family attorney to discuss your concerns. You may want to start with the attorney who reviewed the PSA. I agree that it sounds like the matter is moving forward by way of Default, which means the Court would not send notice to you but would notice your spouse's attorney. If you want to be noticed, you would need to file a responsive pleading which can be an Answer, Answer & Counterclaim or an Appearance.
Best of luck to you.
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