I just got out of court. The bottom line is that my ex-wife asked for $114,147.78 in past and future attorney fees. (She is a lawyer herself, and is not currently represented by another attorney.) Commissioner Irwin Joseph ordered me to pay $15,000 in 3 installments, starting July 1.
The good part was that he refused to order fees that had been denied before by another judge. He also called the $50,000 request for appellate fees ridiculous.
He swore us both in. I testified that my ex-wife's lawyer, Miss Jennifer J. Gray, lied in declaration on the most pertinent points, and I demanded an opportunity to cross-examine her under oath. Miss Gray was in the courtroom, but Comm. Joseph denied my request without any explanation.
Comm. Joseph said that Miss Gray had only $14,000 in bills since the last attorney fee order, and he was ordering me to pay $10,000 of it. He gave no other explanation except to say that I had deeper pockets. In particular, he didn't say anything about my ex-wife's alleged justifications, such as me maintaining this blog. He ordered me to pay $5,000 for her appeal.
Comm. Joseph scheduled our next status hearing for Oct. 16. I am not sure what is left to argue about, but the AngryMom may think of something.
Then my ex-wife complained about her seeing the kids last Sunday for Mothers Day may not have been covered by a custody order. The judge spent a couple of minutes fumbled thru the court file. I said that it is not clear what she wants the court to do, since Mothers day is past, she got what she wanted, and there is no pending dispute. Then she complained that there might possibly be a dispute about the summer schedule. I agreed to stipulate to the summer schedule that we already agreed to out of court. I guess that she'll send it to the judge for his signature.
I really don't see any legal justification for Comm. Joseph's refusal to let me cross-examine Miss Jennifer Gray. Her declaration is just hearsay without her testimony. He was apparently just protecting her from embarrassment or perjury accusations. Or he just wanted her to get paid, regardless of the merits. At any rate, it stinks.