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melward

Property Settlement

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My mother has recently gone through a divorce settlement in court. The man that she divorced is in prison for shooting at her. So his daughter was there on his behalf and is acting Power of Attorney. She is very hard to deal with and is making the collection of property difficult for my mother. Is there a time frame for the property to be turned over or is there something else she needs to do? Her attorney is very hard to get on the phone and is not good at communicating with her at all from the beginning. This divorce took place in Mississippi.

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Uhm, I can't conceive of a judge that would allow a daughter (assuming she isn't licensed to practice law) to appear "there"/in court on his behalf.  A power of attorney isn't to be taken literally in this regard.  Absent a court order or this "daughter" in fact being a licensed attorney representing her father, your mother is not obligated to communicate with/through her or honor the power of attorney document that she holds.  I'd like to think your mother's attorney told her this.

 

"Is there a time frame for the property to be turned over ...."

Er, I dunno ... what does the property settlement agreement say?  :)

As it relates to property that's the subject of a contract/property settlement agreement not being turned over, given you mention the divorce was "recent[]", I'd probably wait until some time has passed and the daughter has ignored a letter (for example) stating that your mother (or X person on behalf of your mother) will expect the property or access to the property by Y date and what your mother's prepared to do if there's a refusal to comply with the decree (that presumably incorporates this property settlement agreement).

I'd also feel free, were I your mother, to send my attorney a polite nasty note about his/her refusal to communicate.

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No, the daughter is not a licensed attorney. We have had a time getting any information from my mother's attorney so any advice we can get is appreciated. The settlement did not give a certain amount of time that things had to be done so when questioned the attorney he said it is up to my mother to make arrangements with the daughter being she is acting on her father's absence. She wrote a letter to the daughter since she didn't have a phone number for her to set up a time and she is being very difficult about it. Since she is going to have to have a moving company move a storage building they are giving her 2 hours to get her stuff on the Sunday before Christmas.

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The POA that daughter has could be for something such as for

the daughter signing a motor vehicle title. You will need

a photocopy of that POA.

 

It sounds like you will need to make special arrangements in

advance for a police stand-by.  The police won't help you move

any of the furniture but would be on-site just to allow you and

your moving crew to be able to safely remove your mother's furnish-

ings. It helps to have a written inventory checklist with you and

a certified copy of the Court Order.

 

We are supposed to live in a civilized society but sadly some people

want to start a bar room brawl every opportunity that they can. 

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Thank you. We were discussing having a police there because of the hostile enviorment we are going to be in. We don't want any trouble my mother just wants her belongings. They have made it difficult for her from the start. But the checklist is a great idea so we can be sure to get it all and be done with it. My mother just wants to put this behind her and the sooner the better.

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So his daughter was there on his behalf and is acting Power of Attorney.

 

My guess is that she was there for the sole purpose of agreeing or not agreeing to the terms of settlement and was not acting as an attorney-at-law.

 

 

 

Is there a time frame for the property to be turned over or is there something else she needs to do?

 

Whether there is a time frame is something that can only be answered by reading the settlement agreement.  If no time frame is specified, then the court would imply that whatever is to be done must be done in a "reasonable" time.

 

 

 

Her attorney is very hard to get on the phone and is not good at communicating with her at all from the beginning.

 

Then your mother ought to consider hiring a new attorney.

 

 

 

Since she is going to have to have a moving company move a storage building they are giving her 2 hours to get her stuff on the Sunday before Christmas.

 

She's going to "move a storage building"?  Huh?  And who are "they"?

 

If the police will actually devote resources to serving as a private security force, that would great, but I'd be awfully surprised if they were willing to do that.

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Hi melward,

 

As others have said, the time required to turn over property would be the time specified in the settlement agreement. If you're not getting any answers from your current attorney, I would suggest looking into getting a new one. FindLaw has a helpful lawyer directory you can consult if you'd like to call around and talk to some local attorneys. Good luck!

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Thank you. There was no set amount of time in the settlement and her attorney she was using basically told his secretary she paid for a divorce and she got her divorce. So she has appointment with a new attorney Monday so maybe we will get somewhere with this one. Thank you so much for all of the input and advice.

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You can always make some inquiries amongst police officers

if any are willing to do a private standby for you in which you

would pay them for 4 hours of time on their day off, if there

are no free courtesy standby services from your local police

agency.

 

There are some offduty police in most communities who work

private security duty at places like banks, grocery stores,

weddings and taverns amongst other events, despite

what anyone else may tell you.    

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Thank you. I am going to get her to check into what they do in that county. If they will do it as a courtesy, which I think they do, or if she needs to pay someone. I know I would feel better with someone there to make sure things don't get out of hand. You would think people could be civilized adults but some you know that's just not going to happen.

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