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JENN, Paralegal
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 184
Experience:  I have a B.A. in Business Management. I spent 6 years as a paralegal.
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I have no money, a 12 year old daughter, and no means

Customer Question

I have no money, a 12 year old daughter, and no means to file for divorce. My husband only sleeps in our house on work nights, and years ago opened his own bank account without my name. He pays the house note, but refuses to buy groceries, gas, or help with our daughter. I suspect he may have had an affair. Yesterday, I tried to use my debit card on our OLD bank account (which had both our names) and my access was denied. I dont know what to do, how to file for divorce without money, and I''m terrified that he will be awarded our house or custody of our daughter. Please, please help.
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  JENN replied 9 years ago.
H there - have you told him that you wanted out of the relationship? Was there any abuse in the household?
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Yes, he told me that he hasn't loved me for years, there is no spark in our relationship, and he doesnt want it back. When I asked him to please leave then, so that his daughter and I had a chance at happiness without his constant arguing, he told me that there was no way in Hell he was leaving after he'd made so many payments on the house. When crying, I replied, "But you know I dont have any money to go anywhere" he laughed out loud in my face and said "Hah! Tough shit, that's your problem now isn't is?"
Expert:  JENN replied 9 years ago.
How long have you been married to that man?
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
We have been married for 21 years
Expert:  JENN replied 9 years ago.

Hello - you can definitely file a divorce PRO SE (self representation). I do not recommend it if there are children involve. It's very possible for an attorney to request the opposing counsel and defendant to pay for some or all of your legal bills in the divorce case.

I suggest you go down to the Tennessee State Bar and check if they have legal aid program for indigent citizens.

You can start by reading how to approach the process:

Under state and federal law, you have plenty of rights as a mother. Unless you neglect, abuse, or abandon your child it is almost impossible for you to involuntarily lose your child. You will need to establish paternity with the child's father and file a petition of . Equally you both have rights to the child, and it is quite possible for you to have joint custody of the child and you as primary.

You will also need to file a Petition to Establish Child Support for the child, based the obligor's income/sources. You both can also agree on a child support amount without going to court to fight it out. You will, however, will have to draft up agreements on this amount, the duration (until child is 18 or 21, etc). If the divorce is contested (you all don't agree) you may have to contact a licensed divorce attorney.

If you decide to run away with the child - that would not be a wise choice. You could be charged with kidnapping or child abduction. I hope you don't choose that route.

Here is a helpfule site to view and use -

Thank you and Good Luck!