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Carol in Cal.

Divorce folks, I need your help

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The rules around this vary from state to state.

 

Out here, unless there is a change in circumstances, I don't think this is easy to do more often than annually. Plus the public attorneys often take on the legal defense of the custodial parent in child support situations, making it free for her but not for him (something I find unfair, but there you have it.)

Very few states offer any sort of publicly funded attorney for family law matters, custodial parent or not. Here, if you can’t pay for an attorney out of pocket you can hope your case is dire enough or unique enough to secure the interest of a pro bono attorney, most of which are modestly paid non-profit employees. Otherwise, you have to do it pro se (representing yourself) and there are a handful of legal clinics and a low cost family law facilitator that will do document review. The courthouse employs DV advocates but all they can do is connect survivors to services, walk you through the paperwork and silently stand between the parties when the case is called by the commissioner’s clerk. They have added a Family Law Associate level of legal practice but that scope of practice excludes arguing in front of the commissioner or judge so basically, it’s just another option for document review for family law parties who can file cooperatively or for those who are going to be appearing pro se. Big problem for DV survivors who often have limited access to funds to pay an attorney and may be unable, due to recent trauma, to effectively make their case pro se. If one commits a felonious assault, they get a publicly paid attorney. If one is surviving domestic assault and trying to get their kids safely away, they do not. Big fat gaping

hole in the system IMO

Edited by LucyStoner
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