Lack of communication is one of the biggest complaints against family law attorneys. I don't really understand it. I know that there are times that a person going through a divorce does not "hear" what is being said (usually because of the heightened emotional state they are in). But that is no excuse. It is the attorney's job to make sure the client is informed and aware of what is going on in their case. If you have a communication problem with your attorney, it is up to you to let him/her know - and put it in writing. Attorneys can get very busy and may not realize that you are feeling neglected or confused.
If you are not comfortable with your attorney, for whatever reason, and are not able to resolve this problem with your attorney, I would suggest you look for someone else who may be a better match for you and your situation.
As for the settlement discussions, you do need to be aware of what the proposals are - whether your attorney recommends acceptance or not, it is his/her duty to inform you. Your attorney is also required to advise you on what s/he believes to be in your best interest. It is your job to follow your attorney's advice or not. You have to live with the consequences/benefits of your settlement; your attorney does not.
If an MSC does not result in an agreement, typically the case is set for either a trial setting conference or set for trial. With new regulations in place this year, there is a lot of confusion on scheduling and calendaring. In fact, some folks who had MSCs scheduled are just learning that those MSCs have been cancelled. The severe budget cuts have resulted in many court closures, which is adding to the chaos in the courts that remain open. So, there is good reason that you are confused and frustrated.
You do have other, out-of-court options, such as mediation and collaborative negotiations, that also result in binding, fully enforceable agreement. You may want to look into these as well. If you are feeling these frustrations, it is possible that your soon to be ex is as well.
Since the information provided in your question is very limited and I have not had an opportunity to review all relevant facts, information, and documents, you should not rely on any specific responses to your questions. The information offered here is general in nature given that the slightest bit of additional information could change a specific answer (i.e. we separated 1 year ago and he has been paying all my expenses. Q: Do I owe him that money back? A: Yes. But what if he used money from a community asset, like a retirement account, to pay it back. A: maybe some or maybe none). In short, consult an attorney to review all relevant information so s/he can properly and accurately advise you. This free service IS NOT a substitute for legal advice and should not be considered legal advice at all.
Please see prior answer.
Legal disclaimer: The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of Massachusetts. Responses are based solely on Massachusetts law unless stated otherwise.
If your attorney is too busy to communicate with you, perhaps you should find another attorney. Not all are like that. For further information, visit http://www.ellifritzlaw.com
Since legal advice must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case, and laws are constantly changing, nothing provided herein should be used as a substitute for the advice of competent legal counsel.
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