Saratoga Child Custody Lawyer Discusses How You Can Obtain a Pro Bono Attorney
Who qualifies for a free lawyer? (child support)
Hi, I am a low income single mother, my ex is not paying child support, to take him to court, what do i need to qualify for a free lawyer? Thank you
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As a dedicated Saratoga Child Custody Lawyer, I am often asked this question. There is a New York State program that provides for assigned counsel in certain family court maters, such as custody, visitation, abuse/neglect and family offense proceedings. This same program, however, does not afford income-qualified individuals with the right to assigned counsel in child support, or willful violation of support matters. Only the person charged with (or alleged of) violation of the support order has the right to assigned counsel through the Public Defender/Conflict Defender/18B Assigned counsel program.
There are, however, other programs which may provide free or reduced cost legal services for you, if you are income-qualifies. There are also some “legal clinics” in this area which may be able to assist you in filing an enforcement petition on your own. I suggest that you contact The Legal Aid Society, and The Legal Project. Both agencies offer some services in Family Court matters. If you are the victim of domestic violence, there may be other programs/services available to you as well.
While I recommend retaining counsel, if possible, you can file an enforcement petition without an attorney. Forms are available at the Family Court window in Albany. The Petition you will need is for “Violation of a Support Order.” In completing the Petition, be as specific as possible. Provide a copy of the existing support order, and detail how and when the Order was violated, and the total amount presently owed. It will also be helpful for you to gather and retain receipts/proof of payment for any amounts owed, and correspondence between yourself and your ex regarding moneys owed, if you have it.
Are you looking to obtain an attorney to represent you in a child custody case? Contact dedicated Saratoga Child Custody Lawyer Jennifer Sunderlin Morton for guidance.