What to do if I have no money for a lawyer but want to file for sole custody of my child?

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What to do if I have no money for a lawyer but want to file for sole custody of my child?

I have a 4 year old son. His father is not listed on his birth certificate but there was a paternity test taken. We were never married. My son is also on Medicaid. Is there any way that the state would help?

Asked on December 23, 2012 under Family Law, South Carolina


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

No, that state does not help in cases like this. There are some places you could look for legal assistance:

1) Try Legal Services, which is an organization which provides legal assistance in civil (non-criminal) cases; they can't take all cases, due to a lack of resources, and also evaluate applicants to see if this is a case where they think they can help, but they are a good place to look. Do an online search for  "Legal Services" in your state and county to find them.

2) Contact local law schools: some have clinics where law students get experience and earn credit by helping people who can't afford lawyers.

3) Contact your state or county Bar association: do they recommend attorneys who will provide help on a pro bono (free) basis?

4) Contact support or advocacy groups for single mothers--they may have some legal resources who can help you.

Good luck.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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