In Pro Se Against A Big Attorney

In Pro Se Against A Big Attorney

I found out a week ago that my X had hired a well-known attorney to represent him.  Prior to last week, we have both been in pro se.  It comes down to the fact that he has dug himself so deep that he is left with few options but to hire someone to bail him out of his self-inflicted disaster.

I have contemplated a few things in the past week:

1. Annoyance: I question how he can afford a luxury lifestyle and a new car along with a criminal attorney AND a family law attorney. I came to the conclusion that the courts will question that also.

2. Planning: I have thought about going forward and asking the court that he be ordered to pay for my attorney fees.  After speaking with a few people in the legal community who I respect, I am leaning away from that right now.  I feel that I have enough solid advice in my court and personally, I think I’ve done pretty well so far on my own.

3. Preparation: I could waste my time worrying about being in pro se against an attorney or I could focus my energy on tomorrow’s court date which is what I opted for.

I have come to realize that there are several categories of people who have been involved in my custody battle.  There are the ones who don’t want to get involved at all for various reasons and then there are the ones who get involved without knowing the situation and end up being manipulated by my X.

On Easter Sunday, my X went to my church and preyed upon several people who wrote letters to the court.  Two of those letters came from the pastor himself and one from the receptionist.  They didn’t do anything to be malicious, they did what he asked.  Essentially, the letters stated that he had been attending church since 2009 when we first enrolled our children in Sunday School.  This was true.  We were married and began going to church as a family.  The declaration went onto say that he has attended periodically since then.  In 2011, he attended on one date in November as I asked him to meet us there for the visitation exchange.  It didn’t say “regularly”, it said “periodically” but it was vague enough to move the situation into a grey area.

Narcissism and grey areas seem to go hand in hand.

After receiving the declarations, I approached the church and explained the situation in further detail.  Last night, the same pastor and receptionist were able to write me an updated declaration that is not vague and brings the issue from grey to black and white.

The revised declaration stated:

  • Tina is a member of (The Church) since completing the 101 Class in September of 2009 along with regular attendance.  Tina also completed the 201 class in 2012.
  • (The X) is not considered to be a member of (The Church) due to the requirements of the 101 Class and regular attendance.
  • Requirements of Membership: (these were then outlined in detail).

One benefit of my X hiring an attorney is that there is a place to actually serve the paperwork now.  The updated declarations were served early this morning and I feel confident about tomorrow’s court date. I can’t go into details until after court but there are several other items that I plan to move out of the grey area to their rightful spot.

Accepting prayers, pixie dust, love, hugs and happy thoughts for the truth to guide tomorrow’s proceedings <3  Tina

15 Responses

  1. Tina,

    I pray everything goes well for tomorrow. And it will!!!

    I have been going through my own custody battle with my soon-to-be-ex husband, and look regularly to your website here for strength!! Keep up the good job!

  2. Good luck to you! You are an inspiration to me! 6 years after I left my x husband, I am still dealing with his shenanigans so I am going to court this Friday without using an attorney too.

  3. In our experience (borne out by prior research),once one party’s credibility is damaged, it remains very difficult to re-establish credibility in the eyes of the court. Assuming your ex’s attorney is reading this blog post, there is no doubt he knows he has to re-establish his client’s credibility and somehow call yours into question in order to reclaim higher moral ground.

    My wife found it very helpful to have not only her facts but also her verbal testimony in written form for presentation, knowing she would be rattled in the presence of her ex’s attorney. The court provided a copy to the other side, of course, (and the judge read it rather than making her speak) but it was very effective and allowed her the eloquence she desired. Your background is marketing, Tina, so this may not be necessary for you, but lawyers who lie (or paint the truth) on behalf of their clients can rattle otherwise very careful, truthful speakers. They also know how to abuse the other side in a legally digestible manner, and we lose when we get angry, which is the whole point in court.

    Yes, all those supporting thoughts and actions coming your way. Most anxious to hear how it goes for you tomorrow.

  4. My ex-husband went through four attorneys until he finally found one that would represent him despite his perjury (lying on a affidavit).
    Unfortunately, despite being sanctioned $50,000 he continued to frustrate the process, not supply all the discovery items, lie about and hide his assets. (His attorney knew just how far to continue to push the envelope.)
    My ex-husband continued to cry poor mouth despite purchasing houses, cars, month long European vacations, and having to pay over $200,000.00 in attorney fees. Do the judges see this hypocrisy?
    I have so much admiration and respect for you for being able to continue your case pro se. You are, obviously, doing a fantastic job. I think your ex’s attorney will attempt to intimidate you with legal jargon but, hopefully, the judge will see through that bullying.

  5. Prayers & good vibes! My X has an expensive attorney too, but honestly it has done NOTHING for him. The attorneys cannot control these people and they will continue to make huge, ridiculous mistakes despite legal advice because they have this bizarre sense of entitlement that makes them think that the rules, especially court ordered rules don’t apply to them. They eventually dig themselves so deep Johnny Cochran probably wouldn’t be able to have save them. You have got this! Relax tonight and enjoy your family.

    P.S., I’m sharing this with you to make you laugh… My X is asking for his Panerai watches in the divorce settlement. He cries poor and is asking the court to make me help pay the $40,000 in IRS debt he acquired 10 years before we met. ( The IRS says I am not responsible, whew!) Those watches are worth $7,000 a piece!!! Who spends that kinda cash on watches but doesn’t pay their taxes??? A narcissit, that’s who!

  6. April must be a busy time in the courts. I have 2 dates next week myself :/

    You are going to do great. Bill said it best: we lose when we get angry. Keep your head about you, stay graceful and calm. You’ve got this, be confident in that. God speed!

  7. April = the beginning of spring
    time for renewal – regrowth – you start out slow and get stronger with each day.

  8. Eva- thank you! These comments give ME strength so it’s mutually beneficial 🙂 Good luck in your battle.

  9. Bill- I agree with you. Although, I do wonder if my X would even tell his attorney about my blog. Hard to say. I was told by another attorney who knows my case that he is completely shocked that this particular lawyer would accept my X’s case. He is highly respected locally and usually wouldn’t align himself with someone like him.

    Yes- I have put together a very detailed, one page memorandum to the court at the advice of a new angel in my life who happens to be a paralegal. I do tend to get emotionally stirred and want to stay on track.

    If I feel rattled or up against the wall, I plan to ask for attorney fees to move forward. Thanks for your support and kind words, Bill. T

  10. Thank you, Twyla. I can’t even imagine– what a story you have. Wishing you the best always 🙂

  11. Danielle! That cracks me up about the watch!!! My NPD had a watch with the same price tag. Insane.

    Will keep you posted tomorrow, lady! 😉

  12. My friend who works at the court said that there are 23 or 24 cases on calendar for tomorrow. There is something in the air 🙁