My husband suddenly filed for divorce last year, and even though we had not been getting along, the filing was a shock to me. My husband sat at our kitchen table and told me that he had drawn up an agreement that was “fair and equitable”. He told me that I would not need an attorney, because he had hired an attorney that would be “ours.” He insisted spending more money on attorneys would be a waste.
Despite my husband’s reassurance that he was doing the best thing for me and our two young children, I decided to speak to an attorney. Somehow, I was lucky enough to have a friend suggest Raggio and Raggio and I made an appointment. Within 20 minutes of meeting with Ken Raggio, he had already pulled up the information on my house (that my husband and I shared since before the birth of our first daughter), only to learn that I in fact, (and contrary to what I had been told), I was not an owner of the house. Unfortunately, Ken had the duty of showing me the bad news; I was on the deed of trust, but not the deed. So in essence, I was financially responsible for the house, but had no ownership in our home. Additionally, my husband had emptied our bank accounts of over six figures and put it beyond my reach. Essentially, I had nothing. I was left to borrow money and bounce checks in order to take care of the children and pay for child care. He had the house. He took the money. He had more than half a million dollars in retirement; and I did not even have enough money to hire an attorney. Or so I thought…
Ken Raggio also informed me that my husband had hired a very aggressive lawyer whose only position was that my husband was “right about everything and I should just agree to his terms because he was being generous” In that so-called generous offer, my husband got his house (after all, it was his separate property) and I got a little bit of savings, got child support, my car, and my retirement. To quote Ken, “this would be the deal you would get in your worst day in court.” And so our divorce started in earnest.
Well, we had to set various matters down for a hearing before the court that would get him to move off of his “my way or the highway” view of the divorce and of life in general. So we got temporary orders about my use of the house, about support, use of credit cards, and payment of attorneys and legal expenses. Oh, yeah, we also managed to get my husband’s huge and upcoming bonus frozen so he could not try and hide that from me or our children.
Even though it was a contentious and expensive divorce, I am smiling: I got the house with (with the mortgage paid in full) and my children have the stability of staying in the only home they have ever known. Additionally, I got my retirement, a car, and above guideline child support. I have more enthusiasm at work and more time with my children.
Moving forward, life is good. I am stronger than I could have ever imagined and I fought for what I knew was right; but, I truly believe that I would not have been able to do so without Ken Raggio and his firm. Only now do I understand that practicing law seems to be a delicate balance of timing, emotional support, stern advice, and knowing the law. Ken Raggio has that delicate balance down to a science.
I am extremely grateful to Ken Raggio and his firm for helping me get the courage and resolve to fight for myself and my children, and as Ken said, to get my husband’s “foot off of my neck.” I highly recommend Ken and his firm.