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Re: asking for legal advice on BPN
As a family law attorney and mediator, I want to higlight the ''Note from the Moderator'' regarding legal issues on BPN. The moderator states: ''Nothing in the digest should be construed as legal advice.'' While it is tempting to seek advice from BPN on legal issues, I have seen inaccurate and misleading advice given by lay people and professionals (non-lawyers) all to often. In fact, only licensed attorneys are allowed to provide legal adivce. In addition, each case is different, and there are many variables that must be taken into account when trying to ''guess'' as to how the court will rule on your specific family law issue.
I encourage folks to check out a few reputable websites for general legal information:
I am a single mom currently looking for work and in the the dual process of applying for calworks (foodstamps, childcare,transportation etc.) and filing for legal ''custody and support''. My husband (who moved in with his parents two years ago) works full time (he earns about 28,000 a year) and gives us health insurance (through his job) and $400.00 per month. He spends time with our five year old son on the weekends (from 11am to 4pm on Saturday and Sunday) but otherwise I do all the child care (I buy food, clothes, toys etc., deal with teachers and doctors and have made the only home he's ever known.) My son has never spent the night away from me. I have not taken legal action before now because my husband is being treated for alcoholism, and I have been afraid of joint custody and/or losing my health insurance. I keep hearing ''you get what you pay for'' in terms of legal rep., but I am forced to rely on free legal advice (family court facilitators etc..) Has anyone had experience with these services or with pursuing custody and support while forced to rely on welfare? I know this is not the forum for such a question, that most reading this have no experience with our type of circumstances, but maybe someone out there has experience which can help me. Any advice or rec. regarding free legal services or what my rights are in this situation would be most appreciated. anon.
I am an attorney and can tell you frankly that the qualifications of a lawyer cannot be reflected by their hourly rate. I have had cases against low paid non profit attorneys who were superb as well as high priced large firm attorneys (who by the way, mostly delegate the cases to 2 year associates) were not very good . For your situation I would recommend you ideally obtain an attorney who has been certified as a ''Family Law Specialist''. These are attorneys who, in addition to passing the bar, have focused their practice in family law and obtained additional certification for it. I would also ask how many cases they have taken to trial and mediations they have participated in. You are as entitled to an experienced qualified lawyer as Elizabeth Taylor, it just may take a wee more work. Investigating your prospective attorney is important. Google their name and check the State Bar for any licensing problems. Good luck. Lori
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