Alternatives to Legal Aid For Child Custody

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Child custody lawyers can be expensive, so many people look for Legal Aid. Unfortunately, not everyone can qualify. In this article, we will describe some other alternatives to Legal Aid.
Child Custody becomes an issue when the parents of minor children have decided to terminate their marriage or initiate paternity proceedings. The court might order child custody and visitation based on all the information submitted by both parties and what is “in the child’s best interest.”

While you may have strong opinions of what is best for your child, be aware that the judge is a neutral third party tasked with developing a plan to optimize the child’s comfort and well-being. The feelings and expectations of the parents are not a priority to the judge, especially if they appear to conflict with the child’s needs.

When faced with child custody issues, it is preferable to be represented by a Family law attorney. However, child custody lawyers can be expensive, so many people look for Legal Aid.

Unfortunately, not everyone can qualify for Legal Aid. In this article, we will describe some other alternatives to Legal Aid.

What Is Legal Aid?

“Legal Aid” refers to free legal services provided to individuals who cannot afford to pay attorneys for their civil cases, such as child custody cases. To qualify for legal aid, an individual must meet certain low-income requirements. The requirements might vary by organization, but in most cases, legal aid organizations will need you to meet the following requirements:

  • You must be poor by definition of a court and unable to afford legal services.
  • Your total income/family income must be 125% less than the average in your state.

Other requirements may apply depending on the organization. Family Court Direct does not offer Legal Aid but does offer affordable legal solutions as an alternative to Legal Aid

Is there an Alternative to Legal Aid for Child Custody?

Yes! As an alternative to Legal Aid, Family Court Direct offers affordable legal services for everyone. There are no income requirements or rules as with your local Legal Aid office. With Family Court Direct, you don’t have to face your child custody issue alone.

When preparing for your child custody issue, you have three options:

1. Hire an attorney:

Having a family law attorney represent you is the best option since they are skilled professionals who handle these types of cases on a regular basis. However, Family law attorneys charge a significant retainer fee and bill by the hour, which could add up very quickly. If you do not have the budget for an attorney, option 2 would be your next choice.

2. Represent yourself as pro se:

If you want to file for child custody but do not have an attorney to represent you, you may do it independently. This is known as “proceeding pro se,” which implies you are representing yourself in court. During the proceedings, you will be referred to as a “pro se litigant.”

While this option is significantly more affordable than hiring an attorney, be prepared to handle your case from start to finish on your own. The clerk of court and other court officials will not tell you which forms are needed or what the next step will be for you as your case progresses. If you are unsure about proceeding on your own, option 3 may be for you.

3. Get help with Family Court Direct:

Family Court Direct offers a Legal Access plan featuring a national network of independent legal professionals that provides access to a variety of options, including self-help, limited scope, and full representation services at a discounted rate, making this an affordable option for everyone.

The concerned and caring team at Family Court Direct can assist with a variety of family law matters, including child custody. Get an evaluation by sharing some basic information so that you can begin the process. Along with self-help options, you can also access document preparation services for your case via the Family Court Direct network.

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Following a custody order for visitation, one or the other spouse may wish to change or increase the time they get to spend with their child. Any such changes require a legal modification to be made.

Other issues can arise, such as a spouse failing to keep their scheduled visits or keeping the child longer than authorized. These are all tough circumstances that may be best addressed with the assistance of a professional who can direct you in upholding your legal rights.

Our network of child custody professionals can help achieve a stable and happy environment for your family. Our goal, like yours, is to help your family avoid further trauma and move forward with your new life. Since the type of custody often needs to be revisited to adjust to a family’s evolving needs, developing a relationship with a legal services team can reap long-term rewards.

At Family Court Direct, we know the emotional turmoil and stress involved in divorce and child custody issues can be difficult for both parents and their children. We believe happiness and well-being are our most important goals in your child custody and visitation matter.

Contact us through the form on our website for more information.