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My attorney gave me false information in order to coerce me into filing for divorce? What type of recourse do I have?

Detroit, MI |

I went to see a lawyer to discuss the prospect of divorce. I was unsure of whether I should file, but things were getting bad with my wife. I had moved out of our house in one county, to my parent's house in another county for 2 nights. My wife and child were still living in our family home. My lawyer told me that I would be advised to file immediately since my wife could go file in a different county that day and then I would be in trouble because he "didn't have an in" with the judges in that county. Fearing this, I filled out the paperwork and they took it to file that that day. After talking to a friend, I was told that my wife couldn't file in a different county unless living there for 10 days, which she hadn't done. Thus, my lawyer told me false information in order to get me to file

So to clarify, my wife and child were living in county A and my lawyer wanted to file in county A. However, my wife's family lives in county B and the lawyer was saying she could go file in county B which he didn't want. She cannot file in county B unless she has lived there for 10 days which she hadn't and thus I was given false information. My lawyer was very clear that my wife and child were not living in county B.

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Attorney answers 2


Did you live in "county B"? What your lawyer told you could be theoretically true. The divorce statute only requires one of the parties to live in the county for 10 days. Therefore, your wife might have been able to file in "county B" if you continued to live there for 10 days.

Even if the lawyer gave you inaccurate information about jurisdiction I'm not sure what recourse you have. Are you saying you would not have filed for divorce at all, but for, the attorney's statements? You can always dismiss the complaint if you no longer want to move forward (with some possible limitations depending on the stage of the proceedings). What about your wife? Would she have filed anyway? If so, I'm not sure how you were damaged.

DISCLAIMER: This answer is provided as general information, which may not be appropriate for the specific facts of your particular situation. No attorney-client relationship has been established based on this limited communication. You are advised to consult with an attorney in your jurisdiction before taking any action or inaction that may affect your legal rights.



Neither of us live in county B, so legally neither of us could have filed in county B. I went to meet with the lawyer to discuss divorce. I did not have intentions to file that day. However, when the attorney told me that my wife could file that day in Livingston county and he did not know the judges there, I felt pressured and thus agreed to fill out the paperwork. If I had known about the law of residency for 10 days, I would have not filed so quickly. My wife did not have intentions of filing to my knowledge, but things were ugly. She has never made threats to file divorce, but the lawyer made it seem like it was a legitimate risk. The papers were filed on Friday and by Monday we had decided to reconcile. The papers have not even been served and we are working on getting the case dismissed. The issue we have is that the lawyer has taked $1,500.00 of our retainer for the very minimal work done on Friday. We feel very taken advantage of and need to know what recourse we have. We plan to file a grievance with the AGC, but I don't know if that will help to get the money back.


If your concern is that your lawyer was lying to you, you'll want to discharge him and find another lawyer. You need to trust your lawyer and be able to clearly communicate with him. As to your claim of false information, I believe that would be more difficult to bear out. The lawyer would most likely have an entirely different recollection of the matter and, given that assumption, limits your recourse. Look for someone with whom you feel comfortable to represent your interests. Before doing anything, make an appointment with your current lawyer and clear the air.

The answer to this question does not constitute legal advice nor does create a client relationship with the attorney answering this question. For more specific advice regarding your situation, please consult your lawyer.

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