Legal Question in Family Law in California

I put my husband through law school, two weeks before he graduated he filed for divorce (due to an affair)..he retained the most expensive attorney in our county (Orange county, CA). I was a stay at home mother with three young boys. The judge ruling our case was the founder of "Rights For Fathers" movement/firm. I was unable to get any attorney representation, because upon hearing who represented my husband, my retainer would go from $1500 to $10,000. We owned a mid priced home so I did not qualify for free legal aid, yet I had no money, as there was no order for spousal support. I was forced to represent myself, against my husband who was a new attorney, his attorney (the most expensive in OC), and the judge was the disgruntled partner of the sudden "Rights for Fathers" group. Needless to say, the hearings for me were a disaster, like being on a train without brakes. The day of the Judgement Trial, I was in a car accident and rushed by ambulance to the hospital. My husband "won" every demand made by his attorney, and I was served while in the hospital with papers regarding a default judgement. I lost custody of my children, my home, and ordered zero for spousal support. Duration of marriage 9 and a half years. My husband immediately took our children and moved out of state to Chicago, two days after judgement trial. (November 22, 2002) I was left destitute and I was not even given visitation. I was finally reunited with my children in 2009, through the help of a christian organization. I filed for spousal support, an OSC on June 15, 2010. The judge at this hearing was different. She denied my request for spousal support, then explained to me that I had requested the wrong thing, and she advised me to get a lawyer to help me. My ex-husband, requested the court issue an order, "to terminate jurisdiction over spousal support so that he would not have to respond again, and to save all involved the trouble of having to file a separate motion to terminate jurisdiction." The judge denied his request. The judge then told me I worded my request wrong. I cannot afford a lawyer. At beginning of our marriage, had pregnancy complications which forced me to stop working and taking college night courses, my husband promised me upon his graduation from law school, I could return to college to pursue my career aspirations. What am I supposed to ask the judge regarding support? Why was an OSC the wrong paperwork? Also judge responded to my ex-husband's request harshly, when she stated to him, "no I am not going to deny her right to spousal support in the future." Is there anyone who can help me "right some of this wrong"?

Asked on 8/08/13, 7:59 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Timothy McCormick Libris Solutions - Dispute Resolution Services

Yes there is. Pretty much any competent family law attorney can help you. You need to find a way to hire one before it is too late to do anything.

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Answered on 8/08/13, 11:43 am

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