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Legal Ease
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How do I file for sole custody of my daughter WITHOUT a lawyer

Customer Question

How do I file for sole custody of my daughter WITHOUT a lawyer? I have filled out the forms required by the Court myself. Is it a good idea to represent myself in a sole custody issue? My boyfriend has a previous criminal record, is presently on medication for schizophrenia, bi-polar and anger issues. Do I have to impress upon the Judge myself that I am not against him seeing our daughter, but I would like supervised visits in a designated location, with no overnight or weekends. I went to 2 different lawyers today for a consultation and they want $200 to $300 for a retainer and $4,000 to $5,000 to assume my case. Please help! Amie
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Canada Law
Expert:  Legal Ease replied 4 years ago.
It is not a good idea to represent yourself on a custody application. There's likely nothing more important in your life and that of your child's than this application.

Both lawyers have said the paperwork is not adequate and that you've missed a crucial aspect to your case.

That's because lawyers go to school for years to learn how to do this right and you cannot be expected to be able to do what a lawyer can do.

But, you will not do as well as a lawyer can do either.

You should be retaining the best lawyer that you can afford.

Access is rarely denied and if the Court thinks you are not to be trusted in terms of this issue it will harm your case for sure.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Due to a time limit on serving papers, I am proceeding to serve tonight. Is it in my best interests to retain a lawyer after papers have been served or wait until tomorrow and retain a lawyer to redo my initial paperwork.
Expert:  Legal Ease replied 4 years ago.
What is the time constraint that you are under?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I am trying to serve him with papers prior to his move to another city.
Expert:  Legal Ease replied 4 years ago.
It doesn't make sense to rush then.

If the child is with you then you have the upper hand.

If he moves away you do as well.

So, don't rush and don't serve anything until a lawyer assists you.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Are there any lawyers less expensive? I make $40,000 max a year working 2 jobs and don't know if I would qualify for legal aid. Is that an option?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I think that I will have another consult with a family law lawyer tomorrow in the morning. I don't have thousands of $'s to spend and wondered if I would possibly qualify for legal aid. I won't deny the father access to his child, but I would like to stress supervised visits in a designated location due to his prior criminal record. I was not pleased that the court papers I was asked to fill out included all of my financial data -- if the dad got hold of this, my bank account would be totally cleaned out! Is this a usual requirement by the Courts -- I would not object to submitting this info to them, but definitely not to my child's father!
Expert:  Legal Ease replied 4 years ago.
You are obligated to make disclosure unless you can prove that there is a safety issue.

He is going to have to pay you child support and will need to make disclosure as well.

You should absolutely to go your local legal aid area office and see if you are eligible for legal aid.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I really appreciate all of your help with my matter. THANK YOU soooo much! I will let you know how I make out!!
Expert:  Legal Ease replied 4 years ago.
Please do and good luck.
Legal Ease, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
Satisfied Customers: 87315
Experience: Lawyer
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