Getting legal counsel can be a daunting task and is especially difficult for low income or single families, especially in a child custody battle. Legal representation can make the difference between a positive outcome and a negative one.
Hiring a lawyer is expensive, but if you don’t have legal training or someone who does in your social network should consider hiring one.
Where might you ask?
Many places offer free or affordable legal advice and lawyers to get that representation that you need.
It is usually impossible to navigate some of the legal tangles in life without professional legal assistance. Fortunately, the legal profession has skilled lawyers who are willing to volunteer their services. Sometimes, this is pro bono work to individuals, or through a community legal aid organization.
1. Check Out Local Libraries And Government Offices
Don’t be afraid to look locally and not always on a national level. Many local libraries host events about legal advice, single mothers, and there is also a lot for your kids. You can even try looking for meet-ups around you.
For example, in Mountain View, California and they have a website that lists local events that the government hosts in libraries, parks and even local coffee shops.
Never hesitate to ask questions; any question not asked is dumber than one asked.
Just search go onto your local libraries websites and look up “legal,” and you should find something. You will see that you will meet people in the same situation as you and you will get to learn what they went through.
This is one of the best methods because not only do you find advice; you also get to learn what NOT to do and how you can make this process easier.
2. Your Divorce Attorney
If you have gone through a divorce, the attorney who handled that might be able to handle your further legal need.
This is especially true if they are about child custody. This usually is what complicates the entire process if you and your significant other are not on the same terms about what the both of you want.
Don’t be afraid to ask the attorney about legal fees. See if there is any way to make the financial burden easier. You can also pay as you go. But be aware that since divorces are common, this is become a money making business for many lawyers since so many people are filing for one.
You are going to be spending a lot of time with your attorney and trying to figure every logistic out so you can get the most out of this process.
Divorce can be a long and scary process. But divorce cases are also the most common, making finding help if you are going through one more accessible.
The dirtier the divorce, the more you might have to pay your lawyer, so try to keep this smooth. But in most cases, this usually isn’t the outcome and will be a bumpy process.
3. Free Organizations
LawHelp.org works with these low cost or free organizations and refers people in need of legal assistance to them.
The website offers vulnerable people who need help handling their legal affairs. It also links to find local organizations in their communities that can provide legal assistance. The site was built by Pro Bono Net, an organization headquartered in New York. The nonprofit Pro Bono Net partnered with state organizations throughout the country to compile the resources listed.
Using this, you can find many places to look near you to get free or incredibly cheap help.
Who doesn’t want that?
Necessary information that you may need about legal rights, information about courts, local legal assistance resources and self-help information that is available locally can be found through the LawHelp.org website.
One of the supporters of Law Help is LSC, Legal Services Corporation. This is a helpful organization that’s a resource whose client base made up overwhelmingly of women.
4. What if You Are a Single Parent? Everything You Need To Know About Child Custody:
Look for the number of legal aid in your state or county. Legal aid is often run by several attorneys who do pro-bono work for those who can’t afford the cost of an attorney. They will file motions on your behalf, appear in court with you and work to see that justice is served.
You can escape the need for legal assistance just by being empowered with the knowledge of your rights and recourse options. Speaking up with a firm voice of conviction, backed up by a clear grasp of what is legal and what is not.
This can serve to set the foundation to enable a negotiation that is acceptable to both parties. Being able to sort out legal entanglements before they hit the court system is a benefit to all parties involved and also lessens the strain on the legal system.
A Word of Advice
Child custody is a fierce battle to fight and will become dirty if you and your ex-significant other are not on the same page on this.
Your best bet is to come up with an excellent co-parenting system with absolutely no loopholes. This means even figuring out things like religion, holiday distribution and other things that can potentially become an issue for you.
If co-parenting doesn’t work out, you have to find a way to win over your child sneakily. Do not frame your significant other by placing a knife on the ground and taking a picture, or intentionally getting them a ticket to make them look bad.
That only happens in the movies, and no one will help you if you do that.
This shouldn’t become a “who wins” battle, this is genuinely what benefits your kids. Sometimes, you might forget that in the middle of this war.
After all, taking care of your kids on your own might be hard financially. This might mean considering co-parenting. If they “mess up,” you can get your child custody reevaluated. But don’t deprive your children of seeing their mom and dad out of pettiness.
5. Legal Services Corporation (LSC)
The LSC has over 900 offices around the nation with the intention of helping bring adequate legal services to everyone. Contact the headquarters in Washington D.C. to get more information, or visit their website.
The legal services corporation is a non-profit organization that provides cheap and in many cases free legal aid. They are the largest funder of civil legal assistance in the nation. They offer legal advice as well as grants to help you kickstart your life after going through the entire court process.
With their massive $410 Million budget, they are sure to help you out if you qualify. They only help people who are 125% below the poverty line. But if you are eligible, you will get a lot of help so take advantage of it.
Their goal is to promote justice and give everyone equal and fair access to it.
6. Child Support Services
If you are the one who is having to provide child support, you can get access to a lot of assistance. Because what is so fun about paying for a kid that you barely get to see?
These services are free and administered on behalf of your children. The child support offices have their teams of lawyers, or they work closely with county and state attorneys to develop the best course of legal action for your case.
You can often find a lot of support in your county, and if not, the state provides a lot for you to use as well.
They will help with DNA testing, overdue child support payments, child custody and other related issues.
If you have concerns that your children are being abused by someone or that their rights are being violated in some way, this is the place to go. They can help you in court and will work to ensure the best interest of your children.
In the event of abuse or neglect, the department of children services can act quickly to remove the child from the situation. Their legal services are free, but keep in mind they are only to handle cases involving the welfare of your children – they don’t handle civil issues.
Now you can ensure that your children will be safe and you get a lot more out of giving fees,
7. State Bar Association
You can find out quite a bit of information by asking a few simple questions, and that’s where the State Bar comes in.
This is where all of the attorneys who are practicing law in your state enroll in and get licensed. Although finding help with this method is a little more laborious and in some case unreliable, if you can get it, you don’t have to be stressed about it anymore.
Many of the programs require a guaranteed income for you to get it, but no matter the income, if you tell your situation to a kind lawyer, they will usually do this as a pro bono case depending on your location. But this is still a “luck” based strategy.
They can provide you with the most up-to-date news on legal aid, legal questions, and concerns. And they can even refer to you to someone in your area who can handle your case.
There is never harm going to the state bar to see what potential help you can ask for and see if anyone is willing to help.
Don’t just give up.
Find online legal services in your location and call them up and tell them your situation. Many lawyers are willing to help free or lower rate based on your case.
Just don’t settle for less or feel underrepresented because you deserve better and will get through it.
It’s important to remember, however, that some cases require professional legal representation. Use every resource available to find the expert legal assistance you need by researching the organizations that can give you help without ruining you financially.