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  1. #1
    Skorpionn Guest

    Do I have the right to sue my ex-wife for unnecessary legal costs?

    I live in California, and was wondering what, if any, route my husband can take to sue his ex-wife for legal costs when an unnecessary custody issue came up during court regarding child support? When they first seperated and filed for divorce, he was willing to pay a small sum of child support since he was under the impression that she was unemplyed, and wanted his children well cared for when they visited her. It came to his attention shortly after the divorce paperwork was complete that in fact she was working, then he decided not to pay her support, but filed for support from her since his children reside with us roughly 80% of the time. At the time he filed the support paperwork they rarely saw their mother, maybe once every 2-3 months, and she never called them, but once a month. It came to his attention during the divorce was occurring that he (his ex and himself) needed to go to PACT, he went and she did not. As a result she hired an attorney stating that he was keeping the children from her by not letting them visit her in Los Angeles. A decision was made to not let his children travel to L.A. after he found out that his ex-wife was stripping, hanging around with "foul people," leaving the children alone for hours at a time (they were 6 and 9 at the time), and finally that she had been mugged at gunpoint shortly before a visit with her was scheduled. He made it clear to her that she could visit the children whenever she came to town. Her mother lives in the same town as us, so it would be easy because she and the children were always welcome to stay there. To sum things up, his ex-wife filed custody paperwork filled with lies that made me and my husband out to be some sort of monsters, which caused my husband to retain an attorney, defend himself unnecessarily, and the judge wouldn't even hear the case regarding custody until she had attended the PACT class and mediation was complete. In addition to that she was asking for custody of the children during ALL their breaks from school, and every weekend, so we would never spend any time with them during the holidays - or any other time for that matter. I know she was asking for this rediculous custody shedule to prevent herself from paying very little if any child support. Before the child support issue came up she was quite pleased to contact or spend any time with her children only AT HER LEISURE!!! When all was said and done, mediation was completed with a visitation schedule where she had them about 91 days of the year, and the judge ruled in his favor, and she had to pay him child support. Still, there was a $5,000 attorney bill for the custody issue that wasn't necessary to begin with. The state of California handles all the legal issues regarding support and the seeking of it on behalf of a resident. Just 4 months after his ex-wife was ordered to pay support, she lost her job due to never showing up, stopped paying child support, ignored all attempts by the child support office to contact her. My husband was forced to file a 270 (criminal action) against her in early August of this year. It was only two weeks ago that he started receiving any support. It had come to his attention via the children that she had a job in early September, but she refused to tell my children claiming that me or my husband would call up her place of employment and get her fired - which, of course, is a total lie. During her intitial employment she did not contact the child support office to inform them of her employment, even though it was court ordered that she do so. Apparently, since my husband has now started receiving support again, that the child support office was able to track her down and take out the support - she has never willingly given any money for the care of her children. What I need to know is if my husband can sue her for slander, perjury, and to recoup the attorney fees? $5,000 is a lot of money to have been wasted - her mother payed for her attorney bills, otherwise she wouldn't have been able to pursue any kind of case. Can this be done? Is it a civil suit, and does an attorney NEED to be involved? My husband and I are STILL paying for the fees because we had to put it on a credit card - we don't have that amount of money easliy at hand. Please...any info would be helpful!!!!
  2. #2
    I AM ALWAYS LIABLE is offline Senior Member
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    Re: Do I have the right to sue my ex-wife for unnecessary legal costs?

    Originally posted by Skorpionn
    I live in California, and was wondering what, if any, route my husband can take to sue his ex-wife for legal costs when an unnecessary custody issue came up during court regarding child support? When they first seperated and filed for divorce, he was willing to pay a small sum of child support since he was under the impression that she was unemplyed, and wanted his children well cared for when they visited her. It came to his attention shortly after the divorce paperwork was complete that in fact she was working, then he decided not to pay her support, but filed for support from her since his children reside with us roughly 80% of the time. At the time he filed the support paperwork they rarely saw their mother, maybe once every 2-3 months, and she never called them, but once a month. It came to his attention during the divorce was occurring that he (his ex and himself) needed to go to PACT, he went and she did not. As a result she hired an attorney stating that he was keeping the children from her by not letting them visit her in Los Angeles. A decision was made to not let his children travel to L.A. after he found out that his ex-wife was stripping, hanging around with "foul people," leaving the children alone for hours at a time (they were 6 and 9 at the time), and finally that she had been mugged at gunpoint shortly before a visit with her was scheduled. He made it clear to her that she could visit the children whenever she came to town. Her mother lives in the same town as us, so it would be easy because she and the children were always welcome to stay there. To sum things up, his ex-wife filed custody paperwork filled with lies that made me and my husband out to be some sort of monsters, which caused my husband to retain an attorney, defend himself unnecessarily, and the judge wouldn't even hear the case regarding custody until she had attended the PACT class and mediation was complete. In addition to that she was asking for custody of the children during ALL their breaks from school, and every weekend, so we would never spend any time with them during the holidays - or any other time for that matter. I know she was asking for this rediculous custody shedule to prevent herself from paying very little if any child support. Before the child support issue came up she was quite pleased to contact or spend any time with her children only AT HER LEISURE!!! When all was said and done, mediation was completed with a visitation schedule where she had them about 91 days of the year, and the judge ruled in his favor, and she had to pay him child support. Still, there was a $5,000 attorney bill for the custody issue that wasn't necessary to begin with. The state of California handles all the legal issues regarding support and the seeking of it on behalf of a resident. Just 4 months after his ex-wife was ordered to pay support, she lost her job due to never showing up, stopped paying child support, ignored all attempts by the child support office to contact her. My husband was forced to file a 270 (criminal action) against her in early August of this year. It was only two weeks ago that he started receiving any support. It had come to his attention via the children that she had a job in early September, but she refused to tell my children claiming that me or my husband would call up her place of employment and get her fired - which, of course, is a total lie. During her intitial employment she did not contact the child support office to inform them of her employment, even though it was court ordered that she do so. Apparently, since my husband has now started receiving support again, that the child support office was able to track her down and take out the support - she has never willingly given any money for the care of her children. What I need to know is if my husband can sue her for slander, perjury, and to recoup the attorney fees? $5,000 is a lot of money to have been wasted - her mother payed for her attorney bills, otherwise she wouldn't have been able to pursue any kind of case. Can this be done? Is it a civil suit, and does an attorney NEED to be involved? My husband and I are STILL paying for the fees because we had to put it on a credit card - we don't have that amount of money easliy at hand. Please...any info would be helpful!!!!

    My response:

    I guess you missed this part, in BIG RED words at the top . . .

    "You must be BRIEF and to the point."

    Remove all words that are not factual, and amount to "editorialization", opinion, and generalized fluff or "feelings."

    IAAL
  3. #3
    Skorpionn Guest

    Sorry...was just being thorough.

    I read the info at the top of the page, but sometimes situations can't be thoroughly explained in just a few words. I have edited out a lot of the info, and left what I feel to be of the most importance.
    [COLOR=darkred]I live in California, and was wondering what, if any, route my husband can take to sue his ex-wife for legal costs when an unnecessary custody issue came up during court regarding child support? It came to his attention during the divorce was occurring that he (his ex and himself) needed to go to PACT, he went and she did not. As a result she hired an attorney stating that he was keeping the children from her by not letting them visit her in Los Angeles. To sum things up, his ex-wife filed custody paperwork, which caused my husband to retain an attorney, defend himself unnecessarily, and the judge wouldn't even hear the case regarding custody until she had attended the PACT class and mediation was complete. In addition to that she was asking for custody of the children during ALL their breaks from school, and every weekend, so we would never spend any time with them during the holidays - or any other time for that matter. When all was said and done, mediation was completed with a visitation schedule where she had them about 91 days of the year, and the judge ruled in his favor, and she had to pay him child support. Still, there was a $5,000 attorney bill for the custody issue that wasn't necessary to begin with. The state of California handles all the legal issues regarding support and the seeking of it on behalf of a resident. What I need to know is if my husband can sue her for slander, perjury, and to recoup the attorney fees? $5,000 is a lot of money to have been wasted. Can this be done? Is it a civil suit, and does an attorney NEED to be involved? My husband and I are STILL paying for the fees because we had to put it on a credit card - we don't have that amount of money easliy at hand. Please...any info would be helpful!!!![/COLOR]
  4. #4
    huskerfan41 Guest

    Are you crazy????

    You husband (man) won custody -- and child support to boot -- which is extremely rare in this gender biased society regarding custody cases.

    And, you are still bitching... and now wanting to sue her to boot...

    why don't you count your lucky stars and enjoy the kids...

    you really do sound like an interfering step-parent...

    and give those of us who are good step-parents a bad name.
  5. #5
    Skorpionn Guest

    Angry What?

    I'm sorry to have to disagree, but I'm not an interfering step-parent. I posted a lot more "personal" info regarding the childrens mother at first, but one of the administrators told me to be BRIEF, as is stated at the top of this forum in red letters. I happen to be a parent of an 11 year old daughter, and I get along wonderfully with my ex-husband, have never had any reason to take him to court, even before the divorce was final, he was willingly paying me child support. I've seen enough of how things should be to know how they shouldn't be. My husband was slandered in court, and his ex-wife perjured herself several times, just so she wouldn't have to pay child support. That is why she should be sued, for lying and causing my husband to retain an attorney to defend himself from the lies - simple!!!! My step kids have improved in every way since she deserted them to be a star in L.A. They now have perfect attendance at school, get good grades, are healthier because they don't eat fast food 24/7 because their mother was too lazy to cook for them. Let me tell you that the woman is mentally ill. Why would I say this....well...she obsessed over the Backstreet Boys, told her daughter she was going to marry Kevin Richards and live in a big white mansion, and she would get her a pony - this was said to a 5 year old girl while the parents were still married. The house was plastered with pictures of "boy bands", along with being absolutely filthy. Their mother wasn't working for most of the time she was married to their father, yet she did nothing for her children or her husband. She would leave every weekend to party in L.A., leaving their father to care for them all weekend, even though he worked 40+ hours a week to finance her spending sprees. I can only ask why it took him so long to give her the boot - the answer - he wanted to stay together for the children. Now, of course, he knows he was doing the worst thing for them by staying with someone so crazy, and they're better off without her. The only reason he didn't sue for sole custody was because he didn't have the financial stability to take on such a matter. I could go on and on and on, but I think the picture has been painted in glaring clarity - I hope. If I'm an interfering step-parent then maybe I should stop caring for my step-kids, and let them deteriorate into the slime their mother is....perhaps that's a better scenerio? There is nothing about me that gives step-parents a bad name, maybe you should look in the mirror before you accuse others.
  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Please ignore the comment about being happy that a man won a custody case. There are many on these boards who have a very strong bias one way or another, but, remember, those biases are opinions, not fact.

    There is a saying about being able to sue anyone for anything if you have a good enough lawyer. Or, for that matter, enough time on your hands.

    Honestly, I don't know if there are statues against a case of your type or not. Nor do I know the likelihood of success of such a case. My suggestion is that you contact a local attorney, ask for a free consult and see what they have to say. If they are very willing to take it on, you may have something. Of course, make sure they only collect their fee if you won, and that it be a portion of the settlement or you may well end up with an unscrupulous attorney who will take your money even if you don't have a snowball's chance in LA.

    Common sense tells me that such a suit won't be fruitful. If this could be done, think of the number of cases that would be filed by disgruntled parents! But, then again, common sense and the law are not the same thing, and for good reason. What is common sense to me will not be to someone else.
  7. #7
    stealth2 is offline Senior Member
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    My question to you would be - how do you know all of these details about the ex-wife? If they're based on what your husband told you during his divorce (or even after), try to remember that there is his story, her story, and then the truth - which is somewhere in between.
  8. #8
    Skorpionn Guest

    I'll Explain....

    Considering my various conversations with my step-kids only serve to reinforce all the stories about HER, I'd have to say they're true since her own kids would have no reason to lie about her. In addition to that, my husbandís family has told me many stories, and yes, they have a good reason to lie. However, these stories are once again backed up by my step-kids. No, I don't drill them for information, or even imply anything - I just have to ask them how life was when mom was living with them, and they tell me. Many times they don't even know they're telling me something that could be considered shocking, because I keep my reaction to their stories as calm as possible. When children are raised in a certain environment all their life, they don't know that it's wrong or right or anything in between - it just is their world. Once a person can reach a child and speak to them without judgment or shock or any other form of negative behavior, that child opens up and is more willing to give information - it's called trust. I had to work on earning the trust of my step-kids, but it was worth it. I know that they are not their mother, and what they were subjected to is not their fault, and they can see that I don't judge them, but that I'm trying to teach them how to be as normal as possible - if there is such a thing. I've only touched the surface regarding a history for this so-called mother, there's a lot more, and it's very ugly, but it needs not be brought out in order to defend myself. I don't need defense, but my step-kids do, and that is why the court ruled in my husbands favor regarding child support. He has primary custody, but unfortunately, my step-kids are still subject to the lunacy their mother exudes since they see her at least twice a month. I have gone round and round on the subject of getting sole custody of his kids with my husband, but he's the optimist, and hopes that the courts have taught her a lesson, and in turn she will be more responsible - like a REAL parent should be. I, on the other hand, have a more jaded view because I've had first-hand experience of how emotional abuse can affect a child - I have no faith in her and expect the damage will show it's ugly face sooner than later. I'm not a hasty or overly emotional individual, quite contrary, I work in the realm of logic. Logically, with such a negative history, and no proof on her part to show she has good intent, there is only one direction she has chosen, and it's the wrong one for her kids.
  9. #9
    huskerfan41 Guest
    QUOTE: . "I have gone round and round on the subject of getting sole custody of his kids with my husband, but he's the optimist, and hopes that the courts have taught her a lesson, and in turn she will be more responsible - like a REAL parent should be. I, on the other hand, have a more jaded view because I've had first-hand experience of how emotional abuse can affect a child - I have no faith in her and expect the damage will show it's ugly face sooner than later. I'm not a hasty or overly emotional individual, quite contrary, I work in the realm of logic. Logically, with such a negative history, and no proof on her part to show she has good intent, there is only one direction she has chosen, and it's the wrong one for her kids."

    sure sounds as if you are instigating this action -- not your husband. -- i mean it is HIS ex wife...

    just like i said -- you are interfering...

    and in your reply to my original post... you also indicated that you are the custodial parent to your child(ren) and your ex pays you child support faithfully... and you harbor no ill feelings for him...

    of course you don't -- he's paying you to keep your mouth shut...

    to say this is not a gender biased society -- is ridiculous...

    the statistics are out there.... how many men do you know have won sole custody...

    btw -- i'm a woman -- and a step-mother -- and a biological mother.

    i'm not just talking out my ass.
  10. #10
    Skorpionn Guest

    Why the hostility?

    Yes, I have primary custody of my daughter (11), and yes, I get child support, but not to keep my mouth shut. I have a good relationship with my ex-husband because we both love our daughter, and want her to be happy and well cared for. My ex-husband picks up his daughter EVERY weekend and spends money on her in addition to paying child support. My daughter is very important to him, and he LOVES her, and that is why he pays CHILD support, not spousal support, not alimoney, but CHILD SUPPORT. It's support for a minor child, and it's the law - in every state. The reason I have discussed my husband getting sole custody of his children, is so they aren't subjected to ill treatment by their mother. If my ex-husband were to do something I didn't approve of, morally, I would certainly have words with him, because I've done it before over other issues - not whether or not I've gotten my support for the month either. Most sane people would not subject their children to certain behavior such as, stripping (completely naked and dancing around) in front of their ten-year-old son - supposed practice for an evening at the strip club; telling your children to lie, and tell someone they're your sister and brother, not your mother - telling them that "your sister" is 22 years old - all because she wanted to get into a band where the age range was 19-22; leaving your children all alone for 8 hours while you were at work - children only 7 and 10, alone, in a large city (L.A.) with no relatives and no emergency numbers to call. The police were contacted regarding the stripping incident, but she was only given a warning, and told she can't have so many "visitors" over while her children are in her care. This woman got her car impounded and eventually taken away because she wouldn't move it for the street sweeper in the morning - LAZY!!!! A car worth $7,500. By the way, when she left to go live in L.A., she took the ONLY car the family had, and then wound up losing it! So...now she can't get her kids and take them back to L.A., but her "mommy" comes and gets them for her. Now "mommy" has given her a car so she can get her own kids on the weekend - only a two hour drive. However, the car needs to have the registration changed, and that hasn't been done - she's had the car for about six months - LAZY!!!! The woman has a car now, one that works very well, but she still doesn't get her own kids, she has her "mommy" do it for her. Like a said before, I could go on and on and on, but....maybe I have to in order for you, huskerfan41, to understand that there are two types of interfering; good or bad. Should the police "interfere" when child or spousal abuse is occurring? How about when someone is perpetrating the kind of abuse that can't be seen, but is just as bad - mental/emotional abuse? My husband suffered/suffers from what I call "ostrich syndrome" - ignoring a problem, and hoping it will go away - he hates confrontation, that's why he doesn't confront his ex-wife about her various, shall we say "problems." I cannot and will not stand by and be witness to the psycholigical f****** of two innocent children. I have broken no laws - she has. I haven't committed adultry - she has. I have not neglected my child to the point of hospitalization - she has. Now I could "go into" each of these points I've just mentioned, but I'm supposed to be brief - which I know I haven't been. I can't just toss out one-line insults to others so freely...and...why the hostility, did I insult you - NO!!! I think I know, try this...Your ex-husband is a low-life deadbeat man who left you for a real hottie, and you had to fight to get ANY kind of support. Now, perhaps, you're jealous and angry and just plain bitter because life has dealt you a real sucky hand. Well, sorry, but you need to "vent" at the correct individual, and that isn't me.
  11. #11
    stephenk is offline Senior Member
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    In the original family law custody dispute, did your hubby request attorney fees from the ex? Was there any request to split the cost of the evaluations and mediation? If no, why not?

    I would suggest your hubby ask his attorney about why the above was not done.
  12. #12
    CRYROSE1 Guest
    food for thaught

    even if you take it to court and get awarded the money do you think she would really pay tha attny fees even if she was ordered to??she does not willing pay child support!!!!!

    i understand why you feel they way you do but just enjoy the kids while they are still young, they will see the truth as the grow
    and i can understand where you come from with not beeing able to shell out $5,000. my boyfriend and i are going throught a custody battle over a child becase the mother moved out of state no address left behind and will not let us see him. i think it is a waste of everyone's money whom can not be adults for the kids sake, not what "the parent wants". Maybe the kids should come frist.

    i have custody of my two kids, and there dead beat (I say it here not to them) dad can see them as much as they wish.

    my kids will know who the bad one is in the end.
    just some thaughts
  13. #13
    Skorpionn Guest

    RE: Attorney fees

    No, my husband had no stipulation regarding compensation for attorney fee/cost if custody were won on his behalf. However, his ex-wife did have her lawyer request that of us if custody were won on her behalf. I can't say I was very pleased with the representation my husband had, but he chose the attorney based on his agreement that we could make payments on the balance due for his services. It's unfortunate that we couldn't find a more competent attorney, but time was a factor. It seems that the majority of the replies I've gotten have been based on an individual's opinion, not on legal fact. I had no intention of getting into debate(s) about whether or not I should or shouldn't sue for these unnecessary legal costs. I still would appreciate any info about the ability to pursue this. I know the burden of proof is on us to show that the costs were undue and without cause, and I believe I have a lot of "proof" that leans in that direction. I simply want to know if this has been done before with any success.
  14. #14
    stephenk is offline Senior Member
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    typically the time to file a motion for attorney fees would be in your hubby's original motion paperwork or in response to motions filed by the ex. Another scenario would be filing a motion for attorney fees immediately after the judge issued his/her ruling.

    Just because a person decides to use the court to resolve a custody issue rather than agreeing outside of court is not enough to get attorney fees in your favor. Ability to pay the attorney fees is another factor the court will consider.
  15. #15
    huskerfan41 Guest

    HELLO????!!!

    sorry it took me so long to reply --

    just for the record, i'm married to a man who has joint custody with his wife. they share their parenting time 50/50 and there is NO CHILD SUPPORT paid...

    Why should there be child support paid -- they both support their children equally.

    I'm sorry if i offended you -- this an extremely sore spot for me...

    too many women believe it is their God Given Right to receive payment from their ex-husbands to raise the kids... even if there is a 50/50 shared parenting plan.

    And, i'm also sorry if you do not see the gender biasness in this world...

    i don't believe you answered my question though -- how many men (besides your husband -- who happens to have a stripper/drugger for an ex-wife) do you know that have custody of their children?

    how many men do you know have to pay a ransom in order to see their children -- because that is what happens -- judges, the court system and many mothers-- hold the children as hostages for money...

    it is WRONG.

    CHILDREN DESERVE TWO LOVING PARENTS -- THEIR FATHER AND THEIR MOTHER.

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