I’m getting divorced but pregnant with another man’s baby – What do I do?

First Comes Love, Then Comes Marriage?

Let’s face it: in today’s world, people don’t always do things in the “traditional” order. Sometimes, especially in this economy, married people don’t get around to divorce court before they start a new relationship, which can result in a situation where the wife is the mother to a baby, but the husband is not the father. (We actually see this quite a bit here as Memphis divorce lawyers.)

This can create a potential snag in divorce court, even if the husband and wife agree about the children’s paternity. You would think that modern courts would recognize that things are different than they used to be, but the law makes a lot of assumptions that can cause problems if you don’t know exactly what steps to take.pregnant

Tennessee law presumes that if the mother of a newborn is married, then the husband is the father of that child. This presumption benefits a lot of divorcing people because it means they do not have to go to the time and expense of a paternity test for every child to prove the husband is the father. It is also usually a correct assumption. Most babies born to married women are fathered by the husband.

However, increasingly, this is not always the case. Sometimes, whether the husband and wife have gone their separate ways without a legal divorce or the wife has had an affair, a child born to the wife might not be the husband’s biological child. Clients have come to our divorce law firm assuming that as long as their spouses agree that the baby is not the husband’s child, the courts will not have a problem.

Unfortunately, Memphis, Tennessee courts just don’t take people’s word for it. There is a presumption that the husband is the father, and in legal speak, that presumption has to be rebutted with evidence by your divorce attorney. In order for the court to issue a binding ruling that the husband is not the father, there must be a DNA test to prove it.  The DNA test you get must be official. DNA tests from the internet are usually not going to satisfy the court.

The process is somewhat complicated, but the divorce attorneys of the Ferrell Law Firm can help you navigate the system and obtain a test that satisfies the court, sometimes even at a reduced cost to you.

After you get your DNA test, we can file the results with the court and the court can incorporate the findings into your Final Decree of Divorce. At that point, the Final Decree will serve as a binding ruling that the husband is not the legal father of the child. This means that he will not be required to pay child support and will not have rights, such as visitation, concerning the child.  This may also open the door for the biological father of the child to develop a legal relationship with his son or daughter, if the courts feel that is in the child’s best interests.


If you have questions you’d like answered by our team of Memphis divorce attorneys give us a call at 901-754-1340 to schedule a consultation.

FAQ: The Parent Education Seminar – Memphis

FAQ: The Parent Educational Seminar

Our team of Memphis divorce lawyers get asked a lot of questions about the Parent Educational Seminar that is required to be attended by both parents when a divorce with children occurs here in Memphis, TN. So we put together our most frequently asked questions, along with the answers, here so that you can learn more about this requirement.

Q: Do I have to go?

A:  Yes. You are required by Tennessee state law to attend a parent educational seminar if you are involved in a legal case where a permanent parenting plan is going to be entered as an order of the court.

parenting seminar family

Q: Yeah, but do I really have to go?

A:  Yes!  If you reach your final hearing without a certificate of completion from an approved provider, at the very least, you will probably get a stern talking-to from the judge. In some cases, the judge has actually required the parent to go into the hallway and schedule their course before he or she agrees to sign the Final Decree of Divorce. Also, if you do not complete the course in a timely fashion, you will eventually be in contempt of court, and that could affect your rights if you or your ex-spouse tries to change the parenting plan later or one of you takes the other to court for child support issues.

Q: Do my (soon-to-be-ex-) spouse and I have to go to the class together?

A: No. You are free to choose a seminar that fits with your schedule and is in a convenient location. While nothing prevents you from attending the same class as the other parent, you certainly aren’t required to go together.

Q: What subject matter does the seminar cover?

A:  It covers the emotional development of children, the divorce process, and the intersection of those two things. It also discusses the basics of domestic violence. The seminar is often informative and enlightening for the parents. Many clients tell me that they are glad they went.

Q: How much will it cost?

A: This varies from provider to provider because the statute only says that the fee must be reasonable. Most seminars seem to be in the $50-$75 range per person.

Q: Can I do the seminar online?

A: In Shelby County, Tennessee divorces, the answer is no. Beware! There are websites that advertise “court-approved” online courses. They may be approved by some court somewhere, and they aren’t necessarily bad classes. However, they are not approved by our court system at this time, and the divorce referee will not accept them.

Q: I live outside of Shelby County, but my divorce case is in Shelby County. Can I attend a parenting class that is approved by my county instead of one on the list you gave me?

A: No. If your divorce is in Shelby County, you will have to do what the Shelby County court system requires. While there are probably lots of great parenting seminars available outside the area, they have not been evaluated and approved by our court system, so they will not satisfy the requirement.

Q:  Okay, so how do I know which classes are acceptable?

A: We provide our clients with a list of approved providers with their initial paperwork. If you’ve misplaced your list, you can contact us to request a new copy. The divorce referee also maintains a list online here. If your proposed seminar is not on the list, the court probably won’t accept it and you will have to pay for and attend another class.

Q: When should I go to the seminar?

A: The language of the statute says that you should go as soon as possible after filing for divorce, and we at the Ferrell Law Firm think that is really good advice. First of all, you will benefit more from the class if you attend sooner rather than later because it does talk a lot about the process of going through a divorce. Secondly, if you put it off you just might forget to do it, so it’s really best to get it out of the way in the beginning.  At the very least, we strongly recommend that you complete it before your final divorce hearing.

Q: What do I need to do after the seminar to prove to the court that I went?

A: Your seminar provider will give you a certificate of completion. You will need to send the original to our office so that we can file it with the court. You can mail it to us, bring it by the office during business hours, or drop it in our mail slot. We cannot accept certificates via fax or email. The original is required.

Q: I have a question you haven’t answered here. How can I get the answer?

A: If you are an existing client, please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have a question about this or anything else. We are here to help you navigate the divorce process!


If you have more questions please give our team of Memphis divorce lawyers a call at 901-754-1340 and we will do our best to help you.

How much Alimony will I get?

It’s a common question we hear in our Marital Assessment Interviews (i.e., consultations): “How much alimony will I get?

It seems like a simple enough question. After all, we can tell you exactly how much child support the Primary Residential Parent is entitled to receive in any given situation, so why is this not the case with alimony? ALIMONY wood blocks

Alimony amounts vary a lot from case to case. There are two reasons for this. One is that alimony, unlike child support, is what we call highly fact-specific; that is, it is determined based on the individual situation in each case.

The court is instructed by statute (Tenn. Code Ann. § 36-5-121(i), to be exact) to consider factors such as the relative needs, future earning capacity, age, physical and mental condition, education, assets, and financial obligations of each party; the length of the marriage; the standard of living the parties had during the marriage; and who is at fault for the divorce.

The court is not told exactly how much weight to give each factor, or what factors (if any) should be definitive in deciding the amount and type of alimony to award. (You can read more about the different types of alimony on our earlier blog post here.) Recently, the Tennessee Supreme Court told judges that the two most important factors should be the receiving spouse’s need for alimony and the other spouse’s ability to pay it (Gonsewski v. Gonsewski), but this guidance really does not seem to clarify much at all, because need and ability to pay are also highly fact-specific.

This brings us to the second reason why alimony amounts vary so much from case to case: Differences between judges.

The judges and chancellors of Shelby County are, as a whole, intelligent, fair, and dedicated to doing the right thing. But judges are still human beings, not computers. They are influenced by what they hear and see in the courtroom and by their prior experience. The truth is that the exact same facts presented in exactly the same way to two different judges could result in two different awards.

 As an example, let’s talk about two cases, both of which came from courts in East Tennessee.

  • In the first one, Magill v. Magill, the husband was 47 and made approximately $4,000 per month. The wife, meanwhile, was 42 years old and made about $1,000 per month. The parties had been married for 17 years. The court awarded Mrs. Magill $600 per month in rehabilitative alimony for only 48 months, plus a small amount in attorney fees.
  • Contrast this case with Farnham v. Farnham. Mr. Farnham was 41, made about $5,000 per month, and was at fault for the divorce. Mrs. Farnham was 51, on disability, and made about $1,000 per month. The parties had been married for 17 years, just like the Magills. But the court awarded Mrs. Farnham $800 per month in alimony in futuro. Unlike Mrs. Magill, who only received four years’ worth of alimony, Mrs. Farnham was guaranteed a monthly alimony payment until her death or remarriage.

What seemed like very small differences in the two cases produced very different results. These cases, along with thousands of others decided by Tennessee courts, demonstrate how hard it is to predict alimony awards in this state.

At the Ferrell Law Firm, we can and will estimate for our clients what a fair alimony number might be, but it can only be an estimate. We would love to be able to tell you exactly how much you’re going to receive, but we just can’t do that because of the reasons mentioned above. And neither can any other divorce lawyer or law firm – no matter what they might try to tell you. In fact, if you talk with another divorce attorney and they “guarantee” a certain result or number I advise you to run away fast. The best divorce lawyers in Memphis know that guarantees are impossible.

Cost vs Benefits: Control your emotions if you want to control your divorce costs.

I recently read an article in the British news tabloid called The Telegraph, about a British couple, both lawyers, who got a divorce. They started the divorce with the equivalent of almost $3 million U.S. in assets between them. The divorce and its appeals are now over. The wife received about $150,000 and the husband actually owes more than he has! There are no other assets remaining from the marriage. Now, I don’t claim to know anything about the British legal system, but that seems like a pretty raw deal to me. Even the judge criticized them for the way they squandered their assets in their divorce process.

Divorce: The Cost vs Benefits

Divorce: The Cost vs Benefits

If you’d like to read the article yourself then you can find it by clicking right here.

This is a pretty incredible (but totally true) example of a couple who just did not weigh the cost vs. benefit before they started fighting…or, apparently, at any point during the fight. This couple let their rage and frustration with each other eat up a whopping 95% of everything they had. Their lawyers are undoubtedly eating very well now…but I wonder, did this ex-husband and ex-wife end up any happier than when they started the divorce process?

At the Ferrell Law Firm, we tell clients all the time that our attorneys will absolutely go to court and fight for them. And it’s true, we really will! We believe in our clients and strive to represent their interests at all times. But we also tell clients that they need to make sure the fight is worth the cost to them, because we hope to help them avoid the kind of regret this couple must be feeling now that the heat of the battle has dissipated

We are different from some other law firms, because to us it is not about the money we receive from you. Instead, it is about the results we achieve for you. In the end, we want you to be satisfied with the way things have worked out, and in order for that to happen, you need an honest, thorough analysis of the negatives and positives of any legal options you’re considering.


This post by Memphis, TN Divorce Attorney Lori Holyfield of the Ferrell Law Firm.

Why You Should Never Badmouth Your Spouse to Your Children – pt. 4

*This is the fourth and final installment in a series of posts on why you shouldn’t talk bad about your spouse to your children when going through a divorce. Part 1 can be read here, Part 2 here, and Part 3 here on our Memphis, TN Divorce Blog.

Reason # 4 – It Will Make the Judge Really Angry

This is somewhat related to my last post. There is very little in the world that makes a judge angrier than one parent poisoning the children against the other parent. Making a judge angry is a really bad idea. Making your judge angry is a really, really bad idea.

angry divorce judge

Tennessee has a firm policy against talking negatively about the other spouse to the children, so much so that every divorce complaint is required by Tenn. Code Ann. § 36-4-106 to contain an injunction restraining both parties from “making disparaging remarks about the other to or in the presence of any children of the parties.” If you have filed a divorce complaint in Tennessee (or been served with a divorce complaint your spouse has filed), then you are bound by this injunction. This injunction is considered an order of the court, and violating it could land you in hot water with the judge for contempt of court. Penalties for contempt could include a monetary fine or even jail time, and both of these things have actually happened before to people who violated injunctions.  That should tell you a little bit about how serious the Tennessee legislature and court system are about this kind of thing.

Similarly, by law in Tennessee, each parent has the right to be free of unwarranted derogatory remarks made to the child by the other parent, and most divorce settlements include language to this effect. Some judges feel so strongly about this that they require the parties to strike the word “unwarranted,” so that both parties are forbidden from making any derogatory remarks about the other parent, even if they are truthful.

Also, your willingness to foster a relationship with the other parent can, and sometimes does, factor into custody decisions. This is actually a factor listed in the law to be considered. If you are interfering with that relationship, that could spell trouble for your chances of a favorable custody outcome.

The point is, judges hate it when parents drag the kids into the middle of everything.  In a legal case, the judge is in charge.  Don’t tick off the person in charge. It sounds like common sense, but some people become so angry that they don’t stop to think about their actions. Be smart!


*This is the fourth and final installment in a series written by Lori Holyfield

Why You Should Never Badmouth Your Spouse to Your Children – pt. 3

*This is part 3 of our four part series. You can read part 1 on our Memphis divorce blog here. Part 2 can be found here. And part 4 can be found here.

Reason #3 – It Will Make You Look Like the Bad Guy in Court

Memphis Divorce bad guy

In the courtroom, as with a lot of other places, perception is reality.  When you go into court, especially in the context of a contested divorce, you want to look like the Good Guy.  You want the judge to like you.  If the judge gets to hear all about how you called your ex-spouse X, Y, and Z in front of your kids, even if your ex-spouse is ALL of those things (or worse), it still makes you look like the Bad Guy.  How?

  • You look angry and out-of-control.
  • You look bitter.
  • You look impulsive.
  • You look like you are trying to manipulate or poison your children.
  • You look like somebody who can’t sacrifice your own hurt feelings for the good of another person.
  • You look like someone who lacks essential parenting skills, or who treats your children as pawns or confidantes rather than as individuals you are responsible for raising.

Now, none of these things may actually be true about you.  You may be the most happy, in-control, pleasant, honest, kind, responsible, and self-sacrificing person in the world (in fact, I’m sure that you are).  But here’s the thing: as I said before, perception is reality.  In a divorce or a custody dispute, you only have a short window of time to impact the judge’s perception of you, and looking like the Bad Guy is Bad News for the outcome.  Trust me: take the high road.


*This series has been written by Lori Holyfield

Divorce Mediation – A first-timer’s impression

As a divorce lawyer I often attend and take part in divorce mediations. I recently completed a mediation for a client that resulted in what I felt was a really good and fair settlement for her. During this mediation I was accompanied by a new associate who was attending a mediation for her first time. And since this was her first time to attend a mediation I asked her to write down her thoughts about it so that we could share her perspective here on the blog. I hope by sharing her thoughts it helps those of you who have not yet attended a mediation to better understand what occurs.

The following is what she wrote:

Today I attended my first mediation, and as I reflect on what I learned, several things come to mind.

Coming in with an open mind is essential to mediation success.  With that being said, however, the parties should be careful not to be so open-minded that their brains fall out.  The parties should enter mediation with some idea of what they really want, what would satisfy them, and what would be their absolute bottom line.


What the parties should NOT do is enter mediation with unrealistic expectations.  The responsibility for creating and managing expectations lies, at least in part, with the attorneys on either side.  There are law firms in this city – we aren’t one and luckily, we did not have one on the other side in this mediation – who will feed their clients unrealistic promises of what they are entitled to.  While this approach has the potential to make the firm a lot of money (and cost the client a lot of money), it falls apart in mediation because the mediator, generally speaking, is going to tell it like it really is about the state of the law.  The mediator has no interest whatsoever in “puffing up” the client, so in mediation, the client of such an attorney is going to figure out that his or her attorney has over-promised. The client will not be happy when he or she discovers this.  Attorneys have a vital role to play in explaining to their clients what they can expect in the mediation.

For what it’s worth, in this particular mediation, I believe Jami did an excellent job in letting his client know what to expect, what would be fair, and what would need to be negotiable. This was, at least in part, because the client did an excellent job both in educating herself about the mediation process and in providing our office with the information we needed regarding the items in issue.

Preparation and Organization

The attorneys and the parties have spent many hours developing the case prior to mediation.  The mediator does not, cannot, and probably never will know as much about the case as the parties and their attorneys do.  Therefore, a vital part of the preparation process is finding a way to inform the mediator about the case in a concise, clear, direct manner.  Before mediation, I was convinced that this was important.  Now I know that it is absolutely crucial.  The mediator has to be able to wrap his or her mind around all of the issues in controversy between the parties.  The person who goes into mediation disorganized and unprepared may come out disappointed.  The purpose of mediation is to reach a fair result that both parties can live with.  However, if the parties are less than clear about what assets are out there, there is no way for them or their attorneys to decide whether a given settlement is fair.

Sometimes parties go into mediation with very few “sticking points” or issues in controversy.  They may have agreed on everything except who has parenting time with the child on Christmas Day.  However, it’s often the case that the parties have problems communicating with each other and haven’t agreed on anything at all.  When this is the situation, things can get extremely complicated and disordered in mediation.  The less organized the mediation is, the less likely the parties are to settle.  If they do not settle, then all they will get out of the day is frustration, a bill from the attorneys and the mediator, and no satisfaction.  Preparation and realistic expectations are the key to a truly satisfying mediation process.

 In Conclusion

In the mediation I attended, both attorneys were well-organized and prepared to negotiate.  They had carefully addressed all the issues with their clients, and had spoken with them to set realistic expectations.  I don’t know what happened in the opposing party’s room, because of course I wasn’t allowed in there, but in our room, the mediator never said anything about the law that surprised our client at all.  Our client knew what she was entitled to have, and she knew what would satisfy her.  She went in with realistic expectations, and she came out with a settlement she could more than live with.  I’m convinced that’s the best possible outcome of mediation, and when attorneys work hard to prepare their clients to negotiate, they maximize the chances that both parties will come out of the mediation with exactly that result.

Why You Should Never Badmouth Your Spouse to Your Children – pt. 2

This is part two of a four part series that began with The First post in this series on our Memphis Divorce Blog can be found here, third post of the series here, and the fourth and the final post in the series here.

Reason # 2 Your Children Could Eventually Blame You If You Hurt Their Relationship With the Other Parent

If your spouse is a terrible person, trust me, your children will eventually figure that out on their own.  They do not need your help to discover this, and if you attempt to bend or shape their opinion of their other parent while they are young, they will resent you later for it.  If you damage their relationship with the other parent by withholding visitation or otherwise cutting off communication without justification, they will blame you for problems they experience with the other parent later on – problems that may actually be your ex-spouse’s fault.

tips for Divorce with children in Memphis, TN

True story: I know someone (a friend, not a client) who still blames her mother for being so hostile to her father that he stopped visiting.  The reality is that if her father was dedicated enough, nothing in heaven or earth would have prevented him from having an appropriate relationship with his daughter.  That’s a fact, and that’s fine, but that is not the reality my friend is experiencing.  To her, it is all her mother’s fault.  It has permanently damaged her relationship with her mother.  Don’t set yourself up for a situation like this in the future.

Instead, handle your children’s relationship with their other parent in a mature fashion.  Realize that regardless of what this person has put you through, this person is still your children’s other parent.  Encourage your children to develop a relationship with your ex-spouse, to visit, to communicate, and yes, to love him or her.  If your ex-spouse later proves to be unworthy of that love, your children will figure that out on their own, and they will thank you for trying.  If your ex-spouse actually does end up having a good relationship with your children, what a wonderful thing!

“But wait a minute,” you might be thinking, “that @#$%^& did such-and-such to me!  He/she should pay for that!”  You may very well want to punish your ex-spouse for his/her bad behavior.  That is a natural response, to which I have two replies.

First of all, harboring that kind of bitterness is like drinking poison and hoping the other person dies.  You are giving him or her rent-free real estate in your head when you could be moving on.  The more time you spend dwelling on your ex-spouse’s bad behavior, the more you are letting negativity win in your life.  Being happy in your new life is really the best “revenge.”  Live out loud, in a happy way.  You, your ex-spouse, and especially your children will all be better off for it.

Secondly, your ex-spouse may have done wrong, but if you badmouth your ex-spouse to your children, you are essentially punishing your children for your ex-spouse’s wrongdoing by damaging their relationship with your ex-spouse.  What went wrong between you and your ex-spouse is a matter between adults, and it should only have an impact on the relationship between those adults.  Your ex-spouse (in most situations, anyway) did not do anything to harm the kids.  He or she may have really hurt your feelings, but that has nothing to do with your kids.  Don’t punish your children for someone else’s mistake!


* This post was written by Lori Holyfield.

Why You Should Never Badmouth Your Spouse to Your Children – pt. 1

You’re getting a divorce. You have children with your spouse. You love your children, and you want them to know what a horrible, nasty person your soon-to-be ex-spouse is. Should you spill the beans? No, and this blog post series will explore at least four reasons why.

badmouthing can hurt your children in a memphis, Tn divorce

Reason #1 – Your Children Will Take It Personally

First of all, the brains of children – even teenage children – are not finished developing.  Even if children say that they understand you are criticizing your ex-spouse and not them, it’s very likely that they are internalizing at least some of your comments, if only subconsciously. They will take what you say and feel that it somehow applies to them, not just your ex-spouse. You may be saying, “it’s your dad’s fault; your dad is bad,” but what your child is usually hearing is, “it is your fault; YOU are bad.” Perhaps the words of Judge Michael Haas, a Minnesota judge who wrote a letter to Dear Abby, explain it best:

“Your children have come into this world because of the two of you. Perhaps you two made lousy choices as to whom you decided to be the other parent. If so, that is your problem and your fault.

No matter what you think of the other party – or what your family thinks of the other party – these children are one-half of each of you. Remember that, because every time you tell your child what an ‘idiot’ his father is, or what a ‘fool’ his mother is, or how bad the absent parent is, or what terrible things that person has done, you are telling the child that half of him is bad.

That is an unforgivable thing to do to a child. That is not love! That is possession. If you do that to your children, you will destroy them as surely as if you had cut them into pieces, because that is what you are doing to their emotions.

I sincerely hope that you do not do that to your children. Think more about your children and less about yourselves, and make yours a selfless kind of love, not foolish or selfish, or your children will suffer.”

So, the next time you are frustrated, upset and want to let your children know what your spouse has done think of your children first and Just don’t do it.


This is part one of a four part series. Continue reading Part Two on our Memphis Divorce Blog here. Or you can skip ahead to Part Three in the series here, or Part Four in the series here.

*This post was written by Lori Holyfield

What is a Divorce Retainer Fee?

I love being able to offer flat fee rates for uncontested divorces here at the Ferrell Law Firm. But sometimes a divorce proves to be more complicated than initially thought, or it starts out difficult from the get go. In those cases, called contested divorces, we instead operate on a retainer fee basis.

Usually when I say the word retainer people nod as if they understand, but there is a glassy and dazed look in their eyes that shouts “what are you talking about”. So if you’re like most people you’ve never dealt with a “Retainer” and don’t know what the word means. And even if you are familiar with the term you may not still find the whole thing confusing or strange. So let me explain what a retainer is and why we use them.

Unlike the personal injury lawyers that you see on TV, divorce lawyers don’t get paid only if they win. Because really, when  a divorce occurs is there ever a true “winner”?

A retainer fee is, basically, you pre-paying for services we’re about to perform for you. Here’s one way to look at retainers.

You decide that you want to hire me to represent you in your contested divorce. Of course when you hire me I’m going to require you to pay for my product. As an attorney my “product” is my time spent on your matter using the knowledge and experience I have. 

The problem is I don’t know exactly how much of my product will be needed to help you solve your problem. And once my product is used I can never get it back, and I likely turned down other people who wanted to pay me for my product but I had to turn them down because I was using it to help you.

I want to make sure that I get paid for my product, I just don’t know how much product I’ll be using until after I’ve used it. So because of this I have you pay me in advance for my product. This advance payment is what we call a retainer. We require this retainer be refilled every two weeks as long as we are working on your case.

Now Here is an example of how a retainer works:

Say you come in to sign a representation agreement with us for your contested divorce matter. You would pay us right from the start a fixed retainer amount – let’s say $100 to make it easy. 

Then, because we (hypothetically) charge $5 an hour, any time we work on your case we keep track of all the time spent on it, down to the tenth of an hour.  So if in the first month on your case we worked for 3 hours, we would charge $15 against the $100 you initially paid, leaving a month-end balance of $85.

You would then need to pay us $15 to bring your retainer balance back up to the $100, so we can start the next month’s work. 

Let’s say, then, that we finish working on your case that next month, after 10 more hours of work. After taking out the $50 from the retainer for that month, we’re done with your case and all issues have been resolved and we refund you back the remaining $50.

We use retainer fees for our contested divorces simply because it gives us a way to maintain payments in an ongoing case.  There are ways to lower your fees, though, and it comes down to one simple thing: time.  If you as the client offer up your time to make phone calls, send faxes, or secure records by doing your own leg work, that is time not being charged to you by us.

So, if you do have have a contested divorce case here in Memphis and you want to save as much money as possible on attorney’s fees, you need to do as much of the work as possible yourself. And what type of work am I talking about? Things such as contested doctors bills or records, previous court reports and etc. We really don’t want to bleed you dry in lawyer fees,  honestly!

What happens if you don’t refill your retainer back up?

Again, my product is my time that I spend on your case, and I can never get that back after it’s been spent. So, if a client doesn’t refill their retainer account I can’t continue to work on the case knowing that there is no guarantee that I will be paid for my product.

In the event that a retainer isn’t refilled as requested then the only thing I can do is to no longer work on the client’s case and to request to the court to withdraw from the case. I Never like doing this, but unfortunately it does occur very occasionally.