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  1. #1
    NMH143 is offline Junior Member
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    Lawsuit Filed against me 20 days to respond

    What is the name of your state (Florida)?

    A lawsuit regarding the custody of my 4 month old son has been filed against me I was 'served' a few days ago so I do not have long left to respond. Basically the father wants rotating timeshare of every other week, I do not feel this is in my childs best interest. Also he wants to pay less child support than florida law. I have been to see a lawyer but I cannot afford the retainer fee and I just want some advice about representing myself in court or any other option. I make too much for legal aid but as i'm a single mother not receiving any child support or government assistance theres no way i can afford a lawyer. also the childs father and I have not been in a relationship since I found out about the pregnancy. I believe he's doing this to get out of paying.

    Can I respond to the paperwork I received from the lawyer myself? Can I represent myself through all of this? If so how??

    Thank you
  2. #2
    LdiJ is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by NMH143 View Post
    What is the name of your state (Florida)?

    A lawsuit regarding the custody of my 4 month old son has been filed against me I was 'served' a few days ago so I do not have long left to respond. Basically the father wants rotating timeshare of every other week, I do not feel this is in my childs best interest. Also he wants to pay less child support than florida law. I have been to see a lawyer but I cannot afford the retainer fee and I just want some advice about representing myself in court or any other option. I make too much for legal aid but as i'm a single mother not receiving any child support or government assistance theres no way i can afford a lawyer. also the childs father and I have not been in a relationship since I found out about the pregnancy. I believe he's doing this to get out of paying.

    Can I respond to the paperwork I received from the lawyer myself? Can I represent myself through all of this? If so how??

    Thank you
    I agree that every other week is a bad schedule for an infant. An infant needs to see both parents more frequently than that.

    However, if he has an attorney you really NEED an attorney as well....you need to borrow the money from somewhere.
  3. #3
    NMH143 is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by LdiJ View Post
    I agree that every other week is a bad schedule for an infant. An infant needs to see both parents more frequently than that.

    However, if he has an attorney you really NEED an attorney as well....you need to borrow the money from somewhere.
    I agree I have the money for a retainer but how much do you think the whole thing is going to cost??
  4. #4
    waitinMd is offline Member
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    Did you offer him an alternate schedule?

    Child support is mandated by the state, so what he pays will end up being based on the number of overnights you each have.

    Its hard to give a dollar figure. But I can tell you it's cheaper to try to work it out with the other parent first.
  5. #5
    Gracie3787 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by NMH143 View Post
    What is the name of your state (Florida)?

    A lawsuit regarding the custody of my 4 month old son has been filed against me I was 'served' a few days ago so I do not have long left to respond. Basically the father wants rotating timeshare of every other week, I do not feel this is in my childs best interest. Also he wants to pay less child support than florida law. I have been to see a lawyer but I cannot afford the retainer fee and I just want some advice about representing myself in court or any other option. I make too much for legal aid but as i'm a single mother not receiving any child support or government assistance theres no way i can afford a lawyer. also the childs father and I have not been in a relationship since I found out about the pregnancy. I believe he's doing this to get out of paying.

    Can I respond to the paperwork I received from the lawyer myself? Can I represent myself through all of this? If so how??

    Thank you
    You really should hire an attorney. However, if you cannot do so, you'll need to learn the laws and court rules. Here are links that will help you:

    Forms and other info: [url=http://www.flcourts.org]Florida State Courts[/url]

    Chapter 61 of the statutes at: [url=http://www.flsenate.gov/STATUTES]Statutes & Constitution :View Statutes : flsenate.gov[/url]

    Rules of Civil Procedure at: [url=http://phonl.com/fl_law/rules/frcp]FLORIDA RULES OF CIVIL PROCEDURE[/url]

    Family Law Rules at: [url=http://phonl.com/fl_law/rules/famlawrules]Florida Family Law Rules[/url]
  6. #6
    Ronin is offline Member
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    The laws and rules of procedure offered here are good reading but it is too much information for anyone to absorb and properly apply in such a short period of time as you are facing.

    As stated, if he has an attorney you should do your best to retain one. It is almost always a bad idea for a parent to go to court unrepresented against an experienced family law attorney when there are disputed custody issues at stake.

    How much it will cost depends on a lot. Your willingness to compromise and his willingness and financial ability to continue litigating any unresolved issues.

    You will probably get the most bang for the buck if you do retain an attorney to properly respond to the lawsuit. Over the long run it will cost you far more if he prevails on what he is asking for. There is a lot to be said for first impressions, and the first hearing often sets the tone for the case. You don't want to go to court fumbling and stumbling against an experienced attorney. If you later run out of money and need to represent yourself, you will be in a better position to make that decision at that time.

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