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AttorneyTom
AttorneyTom, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
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My daughter is in Oklahoma helping her disabled grandmother.

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My daughter is in Oklahoma helping her disabled grandmother. My daughter is a CNA and is being paid to provide home health care for her grandmother because her dad can no longer afford to pay a nursing home. My daughter is separated from her husband, and when she left Florida to take care of her grandmother, she took her 4 year old daughter with her because the 4 year old was already living with her. Her husband already has a live-in girlfriend. When my daughter left Florida, he filed divorce papers and she was served a few days ago in Oklahoma. She has 20 days to respond. Is she supposed to respond in person? Or can she mail a response? I have other questions too, but will post them on separate question pages.
Thank you again for requesting me and thank you for your patience. I've been answering your questions one at a time for the last few minutes and I appreciate your understanding. I'm typing as quickly as I can.
An answer to an initial lawsuit can be faxed or mailed. In fact, the Clerk of Court's Office in the county in which the divorce was filed should have forms that she can use for that purpose (the county may have them online or she may be able to get them faxed to her for a nominal fee). However, there will be court dates and someone will have to appear for her. For a family matter, a parent won't generally need to appear in person as long as her attorney can appear for her. My recommendation, given your daughter's absence from the area (along with the complexity of the law and the emotional nature of family law), is to immediately retain an attorney. Her attorney can file the answer for her, appear for her, etc. to ensure that she receives competent representation. Self-representation isn't generally wise because laypeople don't usually have sufficient knowledge of the law to represent themselves and because people are simply too close to their own matters, making it very difficult to make the wise, rational decisions that an attorney is capable of guiding her in. If she cannot afford an attorney, she can ask the court to order her husband to provide one for her and, if he can afford to do so, the court may order him to. She may also be eligible for discount/free assistance from local legal clinics. I have provided a link below that you can use to find attorneys as well as local clinics.
Lawyers.com: http://www.Lawyers.com
Martindale: http://www.Martindale.com
Local Lawyer Referral Services: http://www.abanet.org/legalservices/lris/directory
Local Legal Clinics: http://www.abanet.org/legalservices/probono/directory.html

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