Jennifer Dulos’ attorney wants Fotis to pay his legal fees
STAMFORD — An attorney representing Jennifer Dulos in her acrimonious two-year divorce is seeking legal fees to cover the cost of the recent motions filed by her estranged husband who has been charged in her disappearance.
Attorney Richard Rochlin, representing Fotis Dulos, filed a motion last week to dismiss the divorce case so he can go to juvenile court to appeal his client’s mother-in-law being granted guardianship of the five children.
Attorney Ruben Midler, representing Jennifer Dulos, has responded by requesting Fotis Dulos to pay for all of his legal fees and costs associated with Rochlin’s motion.
Midler contends in the court documents that Fotis Dulos is paying several attorneys and a private investigator in the various civil, foreclosure and criminal cases filed against him with “foreign” money, possibly from Greece, and could be trying to “dissipate” martial assets against court orders.
Midler wants a judge to require Fotis Dulos to pay for the cost of depositions and any other legal fees related to defending the dismissal and the guardianship in juvenile court or any future motions filed by Rochlin in the divorce.
Rochlin is seeking to have the divorce dismissed because the disappearance has stalled proceedings. If the divorce is dismissed, it would pave the way for one judge to rule on custody issues instead of the three who have been overseeing the probate, criminal and divorce cases.
The custody battle will be the subject of a hearing in Stamford juvenile court on Jan. 9 — the same day Fotis Dulos is scheduled to appear at the courthouse for his next pretrial hearing on the criminal charges related to his estranged wife’s disappearance.
Rochlin said his client plans to seek access to the children when his appeal of the guardianship is heard next week.
A Stamford family court judge had limited Fotis Dulos’ access to his children prior to the May 24 disappearance. Fotis Dulos was allowed supervised visits with his children, the last of which occurred at his estranged wife’s New Canaan home two days before she vanished.
Fotis Dulos has since been banned from all contact with his children as part of the conditions of his release on bail for charges of tampering with evidence and hindering prosecution in the disappearance.
In November, a New Canaan Probate Court judge granted Jennifer Dulos’ mother, Gloria Farber, guardianship of the couple’s five children. Farber, who has been granted the right to intervene in the divorce, has been caring for the children since the disappearance and is seeking permanent custody of them.
In his appeal motion, Rochlin accused Farber of violating state law by denying Fotis Dulos access to his children’s medical and school records.
Rochlin said Farber has also denied Fotis Dulos’ family members access to the children, “despite a long and positive history with these individuals.” Fotis Dulos’ sister and his niece recently sought to spend time with the children, but were denied, Rochlin said.
Fotis Dulos is also fighting his mother-in-law in civil court, where Farber has filed a $2.5 million lawsuit for business loans she said were not repaid to her family. Fotis Dulos has countered that the Farber family owes him $1 million. A two-day trial was held last month in Hartford and a Superior Court judge is expected to issue a ruling soon.
Farber is also foreclosing on the Farmington home Fotis Dulos built in 2011. Jennifer and Fotis Dulos lived there until 2017 when she moved with the children to New Canaan and filed for divorce.
Jennifer Dulos was last seen on a neighbor’s security camera returning to the Welles Lane home she had been renting around 8:05 a.m. May 24. According to arrest warrants, police believe Fotis Dulos was “lying in wait” when she arrived home from dropping off their children at a nearby school.
Police said two people resembling Fotis Dulos and his former girlfriend Michelle Troconis were captured on video in Hartford later that night around the time Jennifer Dulos was reported missing. The man police contend is Fotis Dulos was seen on the videos dumping bags that were later determined to contain his wife’s blood and clothing, the warrants said.
A separate arrest warrant said Fotis Dulos and Troconis — who faces the same charges — also took a red Toyota Tacoma pickup truck belonging to a Fore Group employee to a car wash in the days after the disappearance. Police said in the warrant that they believe Fotis Dulos drove the truck to New Canaan the morning of the disappearance.
Fotis Dulos also urged the employee to remove the seats, which testing later revealed contained Jennifer Dulos’ blood, according to the warrant.