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Discovery ignored again. Now what?

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not2cleverRed

Obvious Observer
And always remember, the better court goes for you, the madder she'll get at you. Keep that protective order in place, make sure your doors stay locked.
He should keep a copy on him at all time.

In fact, given his other thread, he should worry less about this - the lawyer sounds competent - and worry more about the continued safety of his household.
 
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Hunterman

Junior Member
Today was the deadline for her to comply with the judge's order. She did not provide any of the documents requested (bank statements, investment account statement, pay stubs for her jobs, W-2's for her jobs, or income tax information. She provided an address for where she banks and an address for where she works full-time. She did not give any address or contact information for her part-time jobs (she has 3 on-call jobs) or her investment accounts. She also has not paid the $1500 she was ordered to pay my attorney by today.

To recap, these documents were first requested in September. In December, when she had not complied with discovery, the judge scolded her and ordered to pay $500 for attorney fees to my lawyer. In March she still hadn't complied and the judge gave her until today and ordered her to pay an additional $1000 in attorney fees to my lawyer.

We were originally supposed to have mediation in January, but without having her financial and payroll documents I canceled the mediation. She complained to the judge about me canceling mediation and the judge told her canceling it was the right decision because how can someone negotiate when they don't know what they are negotiating about. We now have mediation scheduled for April 9, but we are in the same position as we were in January. My lawyer has advised me to go through with mediation this time, but my share of the mediation is going to cost about $600 per hour (lawyer + mediator hourly fees combined) and I disagree with my lawyer on going through with mediation because we still don't what we are negotiating about. I think my lawyer is asking me to spend a lot of money with little chance of coming to a settlement.

Pre-trial is scheduled for April 25 and the trial is scheduled to begin on April 30. I don't see how there can be a trial when she still hasn't complied with discovery. How can a judge rule when he doesn't have all of the information?

In a hearing in November my lawyer told the judge that I will be in Europe for almost all of the summer (I am working and studying at the University of Oslo) and the judge said that there is no reason that this wouldn't be completed before then and that it shouldn't be a problem.

I know no one has a crystal ball, but I would sure like some thoughts on what might happen now or advice on what to do next.
 

LdiJ

Senior Member
Today was the deadline for her to comply with the judge's order. She did not provide any of the documents requested (bank statements, investment account statement, pay stubs for her jobs, W-2's for her jobs, or income tax information. She provided an address for where she banks and an address for where she works full-time. She did not give any address or contact information for her part-time jobs (she has 3 on-call jobs) or her investment accounts. She also has not paid the $1500 she was ordered to pay my attorney by today.

To recap, these documents were first requested in September. In December, when she had not complied with discovery, the judge scolded her and ordered to pay $500 for attorney fees to my lawyer. In March she still hadn't complied and the judge gave her until today and ordered her to pay an additional $1000 in attorney fees to my lawyer.

We were originally supposed to have mediation in January, but without having her financial and payroll documents I canceled the mediation. She complained to the judge about me canceling mediation and the judge told her canceling it was the right decision because how can someone negotiate when they don't know what they are negotiating about. We now have mediation scheduled for April 9, but we are in the same position as we were in January. My lawyer has advised me to go through with mediation this time, but my share of the mediation is going to cost about $600 per hour (lawyer + mediator hourly fees combined) and I disagree with my lawyer on going through with mediation because we still don't what we are negotiating about. I think my lawyer is asking me to spend a lot of money with little chance of coming to a settlement.

Pre-trial is scheduled for April 25 and the trial is scheduled to begin on April 30. I don't see how there can be a trial when she still hasn't complied with discovery. How can a judge rule when he doesn't have all of the information?

In a hearing in November my lawyer told the judge that I will be in Europe for almost all of the summer (I am working and studying at the University of Oslo) and the judge said that there is no reason that this wouldn't be completed before then and that it shouldn't be a problem.

I know no one has a crystal ball, but I would sure like some thoughts on what might happen now or advice on what to do next.
You need to follow your attorney's advice and go through the mediation.
 

commentator

Senior Member
Follow your attorney's suggestions. This isn't the time for you to go off thinking cheap or start trying to imagine what's going to happen in court without experience and second guess your attorney. You need to be the one who is compliant. with the judge's suggestion. Cleanse from your mind that your attorney is just trying to make more money off you.

Your case has been and will continue to be a nasty one, and what you want to happen is that when all is said and done, SHE is the one who was completely uncompliant, you were the one who has bent over backward to make all this happen on the timeline the judge said they wanted it to go on. As to whether or not it can be mediated and settled without her having provided the requesting information, if that happens, who do you think is going to come out to the better, the one who is cooperating and tells them what they believe to be the facts, or the one who refuses to produce any evidence and says they're something else?

From the sounds of what you are telling us, the judge intends for this to be settled, with or without your ex's feedback. After giving her enough chances, yes, they can reach a judgment without her compliance. What they don't want to do is let someone who is refusing to cooperate dictate both the court's and your schedule. And they'll eventually break bad on her.

Meantime, remember, your ex knows you, and expects that you're impatient with all this expense and all this time elapsed. She may be counting on your behaving a certain way, as in finally reaching the point of giving up because of her pepetual delays. No matter what, don't have a conversation with her in which she offers to go on and get this all settled up with a "gentleman's agreement" and both of you dump your money hungry attorneys, yada yada. This may be her game plan, but if you continue to cooperate with the courts, be available to do everything they want you to and go through all the steps, it may backfire on her.
 

HighwayMan

Super Secret Senior Member
Seriously - you have an attorney. You shouldn't be here looking for any serious information or advice. All of that needs to come from your attorney.
 

not2cleverRed

Obvious Observer
Follow your attorney's suggestions. This isn't the time for you to go off thinking cheap or start trying to imagine what's going to happen in court without experience and second guess your attorney. You need to be the one who is compliant. with the judge's suggestion. Cleanse from your mind that your attorney is just trying to make more money off you.

Your case has been and will continue to be a nasty one, and what you want to happen is that when all is said and done, SHE is the one who was completely uncompliant, you were the one who has bent over backward to make all this happen on the timeline the judge said they wanted it to go on. As to whether or not it can be mediated and settled without her having provided the requesting information, if that happens, who do you think is going to come out to the better, the one who is cooperating and tells them what they believe to be the facts, or the one who refuses to produce any evidence and says they're something else?

From the sounds of what you are telling us, the judge intends for this to be settled, with or without your ex's feedback. After giving her enough chances, yes, they can reach a judgment without her compliance. What they don't want to do is let someone who is refusing to cooperate dictate both the court's and your schedule. And they'll eventually break bad on her.

Meantime, remember, your ex knows you, and expects that you're impatient with all this expense and all this time elapsed. She may be counting on your behaving a certain way, as in finally reaching the point of giving up because of her pepetual delays. No matter what, don't have a conversation with her in which she offers to go on and get this all settled up with a "gentleman's agreement" and both of you dump your money hungry attorneys, yada yada. This may be her game plan, but if you continue to cooperate with the courts, be available to do everything they want you to and go through all the steps, it may backfire on her.
Please, Hunterman, read and reread this.

I personally believe that it is highly unlikely that you will get anything settled in mediation, but THAT'S NOT THE POINT. The goal is to show you are willing to be reasonable. You know that she won't be reasonable, but you have to go through this step to prove it.

Very few divorces go to trial. When a divorce goes to trial because one side is an unreasonable wall, refusing to comply with discovery and making absurd responses and settlement offers, the more credible party is less disappointed with the judge's decision. VOE.
 
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LdiJ

Senior Member
Honestly? I don't know if there are children involved or not, but if she has no access to the children, and no access to any support from you, and is living the way that your past threads seem to indicate that she is living, it appears that she may simply have nothing to benefit by cooperating with the divorce process. She may not be being malicious by not cooperating but may simply feel like it doesn't matter, that she is screwed anyway so why bother?

Unfortunately that is a problem that occurs often with the non-custodial parent...and often with a stbx who feels screwed even when no children are involved.

I am not saying that she is right in what she is doing, I am simply explaining why she might be so foolish as to completely disregard the process of divorce.
 

commentator

Senior Member
There are three children, ages 13 through 17. I don't think this is a person who has given up hope here. I think this is a person who in her heart refuses to accept anything from anybody including the courts that is not what she wants to hear.

She's not disregarding it. She's flat out refusing to comply with it. There are people out there like this.
 

Hunterman

Junior Member
An update on the case. I asked my attorney what we can do to try to get the documents that she refuses to turn over. My attorney answered that we may not need to get the documents because he expects the judge to default her out at the next hearing, which is on April 25. Of course, now that I'm not at my attorney's office anymore I have many questions, like how will this effect the division of assets, spousal support for her, custody, child support for me, etc..

My attorney also explained that we now have a lot of leverage at the mediation (April 9) and we can end it at any time if progress isn't being made or if it looks like a settlement won't be reached. We just want to be able to show the judge that we attempted to mediate and that it was unproductive.

The other news is that the soon to be ex is now engaged. Apparently there are pictures and posts on social media with her showing off her engagement ring. She is 52 and he is 79. According to people who have seen the posts, she is saying that they are going to get married as soon as the divorce is final. The really good news for me is that her boyfriend has done quite well for himself and this will almost surely disqualify her from any spousal support.
 
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not2cleverRed

Obvious Observer
An update on the case. I asked my attorney what we can do to try to get the documents that she refuses to turn over. My attorney answered that we may not need to get the documents because he expects the judge to default her out at the next hearing, which is on April 25. Of course, now that I'm not at my attorney's office anymore I have many questions, like how will this effect the division of assets, spousal support for her, custody, child support for me, etc..

My attorney also explained that we now have a lot of leverage at the mediation (April 9) and we can end it at any time if progress isn't being made or if it looks like a settlement won't be reached. We just want to be able to show the judge that we attempted to mediate and that it was unproductive.

The other news is that the soon to be ex is now engaged. Apparently there are pictures and posts on social media with her showing off her engagement ring. She is 52 and he is 79. According to people who have seen the posts, she is saying that they are going to get married as soon as the divorce is final. The really good news for me is that her boyfriend has done quite well for himself and this will almost surely disqualify her from any spousal support.
:ROFLMAO::LOL::ROFLMAO::LOL:

Well, perhaps a judge or lawyer can explain in little words small enough that her pickled brain can comprehend, that the divorce will be finalized much more quickly if she complies with court orders.

I wonder what man thinks such a mess is attractive. Perhaps he is a creation of her imagination.
 

Zigner

Senior Member, Non-Attorney
The really good news for me is that her boyfriend has done quite well for himself and this will almost surely disqualify her from any spousal support.
His financial position, in and of itself, has no bearing on spousal support. The fact that she's getting remarried is what counts (when/if it comes to pass).
 

commentator

Senior Member
Sounds like you may have hit the lottery. But then, it could mean more and better attorneys to continue to hassle you on the custody situation and anything else she could come up with. So play it through very carefully to the end. Of course there's no way we can predict what the judge and the courts are going to do or how things will pan out. You are in a good position in the divorce settlement, being the one who has always been willing to work things out. And that she's going to be loaded with dollars IF she marries won't be a factor in the settlement as you've been told.

It's if she does get married again that any such payments they were giving her would be stopping. But there's always the chance that this won't work out as she's planning. And there's the dangerous part. Once things don't go to suit her in this divorce, if the situation with Ol' One-Foot-in the-Grave-and-One-On-a-Banana-Peel-With-Lotsa-Money doesn't turn out like she had hoped (or perhaps he proves smart enough to tie up assets before he does this other ill-timed stupid thing) she is liable to come right back to her old game of harassing you.

So congrats, hope it works out for you, but do remember the parameters I put on this. You'll not be completely safe from her until she's somewhere else for sure, (another country perhaps?) in jail, or dead. Don't take down those game cameras just yet.
 

Hunterman

Junior Member
Today was mediation. Before mediation her lawyer gave us a few of the documents we had requested. We got 3 of 5 W-2's, 2 of 5 investment and retirement account statements, but no bank statements or paystubs. She also has not answered almost all of the interrogatories. Mediation began with me presenting a proposal to the mediator. The mediator took the proposal to their room (we had separate rooms) and he came back about 45 minutes later and said that her side had not prepared anything as far as a proposal or counter-proposal. The mediator said that it was obvious that her attorney had not prepared for the mediation or told her what to have ready for mediation. The mediator said that there was no reason to continue and we ended mediation with no progress after about 90 minutes. My lawyer is preparing the paperwork to request a default judgment. on the grounds that what she submitted is "wholly unsatisfactory", according to him.

An interesting development is that an investment account statement for her came to my house yesterday for an account that I didn't even know she had. Of course, I did not open her mail, but the envelope said, "Important Account Information Enclosed". I gave that envelope to her today, but I took a picture of the envelope as evidence.

Also, this morning a warrant was issued for her arrest for not following the terms of her release. If I read the order correctly, she missed some sort of hearing for one the criminal charges. The judge who signed the arrest warrant is also the judge handling the divorce and he's the one who was very annoyed with her at the last divorce hearing.
 

not2cleverRed

Obvious Observer
Today was mediation. Before mediation her lawyer gave us a few of the documents we had requested. We got 3 of 5 W-2's, 2 of 5 investment and retirement account statements, but no bank statements or paystubs. She also has not answered almost all of the interrogatories. Mediation began with me presenting a proposal to the mediator. The mediator took the proposal to their room (we had separate rooms) and he came back about 45 minutes later and said that her side had not prepared anything as far as a proposal or counter-proposal. The mediator said that it was obvious that her attorney had not prepared for the mediation or told her what to have ready for mediation. The mediator said that there was no reason to continue and we ended mediation with no progress after about 90 minutes. My lawyer is preparing the paperwork to request a default judgment. on the grounds that what she submitted is "wholly unsatisfactory", according to him.

An interesting development is that an investment account statement for her came to my house yesterday for an account that I didn't even know she had. Of course, I did not open her mail, but the envelope said, "Important Account Information Enclosed". I gave that envelope to her today, but I took a picture of the envelope as evidence.

Also, this morning a warrant was issued for her arrest for not following the terms of her release. If I read the order correctly, she missed some sort of hearing for one the criminal charges. The judge who signed the arrest warrant is also the judge handling the divorce and he's the one who was very annoyed with her at the last divorce hearing.
Hang tight.

Stay safe.

You're doing fine. By following your lawyer's advice, you have shown that you are willing to participate in the process. She has shown that she believes the rules don't apply to her. It seems odd that she and her lawyer couldn't at least say, "we accept some of these items but not others", or "we reject this out of hand".

She's making it difficult to determine what would be an equitable division of marital assets...

Child support can be based on what little income information that you have, and can always be revisited.
 

commentator

Senior Member
I hope when you "gave the information to her" you did it in a public place or through someone else with as little personal interaction as possible. Incidentally I wouldn't be too worried about it, because in my experience, the least important junk mail in the world that you get says "Important Account Information Enclosed" when it's really a credit card offer or something similar. But even if she has an investment account she forgets to mention, it could come in later. You're doing fine, remember, she's TRYING to stretch this out till you give up. Don't give up. Stay safe!
 
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