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Is is lawful to have a temporary hearing at an attorney's office?

Plano, TX |

I filed for divorce with a disabled child. My spouse's lawyer, wanted to meet at her office to agree on support etc... After 2 hours, my spouse said he has no job, and will not leave the home and will not support the child. I am mad at my Lawyer, to let them get away with this. Now a hearing is scheduled on the 25th. What do I do? do I find another powerful Lawyer or am I going to be treated like a dog. That's what I felt today.

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Attorney answers 4


You're husband hasn't "gotten away" with anything . . . yet. Your lawyer should represent your interests at the hearing, which I surmise will be a hearing for the entry of Temporary Orders. The Court can order your husband out of the home, and can order him to make temporary payments to you of child support. He can't force your husband to get a job, but if your husband is ordered to pay child support and does not, then your husband can be held in contempt of court.

I dont believe, at least not at this point, that you need a new lawyer. It is not unusual for lawyers to meet informally, with or without clients, to try to work out these kinds of matters. My recommendation is that you take a deep breath (or two or three) and then tell your lawyer, tomorrow, how you felt and ask him/her to explain what went on today. Remember though, your lawyer is probably paid by the hour, and every conversation you have costs you money. Try to be concise with your questions for him/her, and good luck through this process.

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It is important that you be comfortable with your attorney and his/her representation of your interests. That being said, I would suggest scheduling an appointment with your current lawyer to discuss your concerns. Good luck.

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That's not a temporary orders hearing, that's a negotiation session. It's best if you guys can come to an agreement-- a lot of people are unhappy when a judge has to decide things. There's nothing your lawyer really could have done in that case.

A temporary orders hearing will be in front of a judge who will decide things, at least in the short run.


You've raised a number of issues:

1. Can you have a TO hearing at an attorney's office. No, you cannot have a hearing there but you can meet informally to try to settle temporary issues. If everyone would have been able to reach an agreement at that meeting, you probably would have signed what we call a Rule 11 agreement which would have been filed with the court with a more formal order following within a couple of weeks. So no, you couldn't have a hearing, but yes, you could have reached an agreement.

2. Mad at lawyer. Because it wasn't a real hearing, it was just a negotiation conference, your attorney was not in a position to force them to do anything or let them get away with anything. The other side (your husband's attorney) probably wanted to settle it informally because a contested hearing, as you will have on the 25th (of March?) will probably not go the way your husband wants it to.

3. What to do? I don't know that your lawyer did anything wrong. He or she might not have been as strong as you wanted and perhaps another attorney with a stronger personality would have gotten a different result. From this distance, it's not possible for me to know. I do know that it is vitally important that you have absolute confidence in your attorney. If you and your attorney are not a good fit, it doesn't mean you have a bad attorney or that you are a bad client--it just means you have a bad fit. If the fit is bad, you probably need to move on to someone else. Just know that switching attorneys will cost you some money. You might want to consult in person with a local attorney before giving your current attorney the boot.

I practice in Collin County and my office is in Plano. We would be happy to discuss your case with you. It would be great to know the cause number of your case. Knowing who the judge is can be helpful in forecasting the outcome of a contested hearing on temporary issues.

I'm sorry you had such an unsatisfying experience at the negotiation conference.

Good luck!!