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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 102143
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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I went to jail for 24 hrs and my sons father filed a ex parta

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I went to jail for 24 hrs and my son's father filed a ex parta how do I contest that I have no money for a lwayer and we were never married?
Hello friend. My name is XXXXX XXXXX welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: (1) this is general information only, not legal advice, and, (2) there may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies.

I am sorry for your situation. Can you please tell me:

1) Why exactly did you go to jail, and
2) What are you asking here, i.e. what are you attempting to achieve? Are you seeking a pro bono attorney? Or, asking how you could win custody? Or both, or something else?

This is not an answer, but an Information Request. I need this information to answer your question. Please reply, so I can answer your question. Thank you in advance.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I am living with another woman that is why I left my son's father. He dosen't like it or the fact that my son is living here with us. My son never see's us do anything. My girlfriend and I got in a fight and I hit her. The neighbors called the cops and took me to jail and the cops took my son to his father. I want to know if I can get my son back because right now the father is not letting me see or talk to my son. Then on the 22nd let the judge decide the case I filed an answer to his petition for Sole physical custoday and said I would share joint custody. The judge set a court date for 9 am Aug 22nd. I was told in Missouri the mother has the rights to the child due to me and the boys father never being married. The father's name is XXXXX XXXXX birth certificate.

Thank you, L.

Whether or not you were married or not does not make a difference when it comes to custody matters. So that is besides the point.

So now that this has been explained away, please tell me - what is is that I can answer for you? Are you asking:

1) How to possibly make yourself a better candidate for custody at the hearing; or
2) How to find a pro bono / low cost attorney, or
3) Something else?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Well a pro bono attorny would be fabulous but I called all the lawyers locally and $1500.00 was the cheapest and I can't afford that, just to get started and applied to 2 different free legal aid offices who turned me down. So how do I make myself a good candidate I guess and do I need to do anything about the expar ta that was issues 2 days ago?

Thank you, L.

There is nothing that needs to be done about the ex parte. What the ex-parte was is an "emergency" petition to be heard at time of filing to gain custody. With you being in jail, he took advantage of it and filed it, getting emergency custody. That ex-parte order for him getting custody is going to be re-heard on Aug. 22, and either upheld, modified, or reversed.

Custody is based on "best interest of the child." Herndon v. Tuhey, 857 SW 2d 203 - Mo: Supreme Court 1993. That is the rule of thumb of the Court and how the Judge will see the case. To make yourself the most presentable as a custodian, one must play on the following subjective factors by which the Court will determine this best interest of the child, which are:

(1) The wishes of the child’s parents as to custody and the proposed parenting plan submitted by both parties;
(2) The needs of the child for a frequent, continuing and meaningful relationship with both parents and the ability and willingness of parents to actively perform their functions as mother and father for the needs of the child;
(3) The interaction and interrelationship of the child with parents, siblings, and any other person who may significantly affect the child’s best interests;
(4) Which parent is more likely to allow the child frequent, continuing and meaningful contact with the other parent;
(5) The child’s adjustment to the child’s home, school, and community;
(6) The mental and physical health of all individuals involved;
(7) The intention of either parent to relocate the principal residence of the child; and
(8) The wishes of a child as to the child’s parents. (Missouri Statutes - Title 30 - Chapter 452 - Sections: 375 and 400)

So what someone in your situation wants to do is to play up these factors for yourself, while simultaneously attacking him by stating and showing that he lacks these factors. Stability. Home environment. Plans for the future. These are important factors.

If finances are an issue to retain counsel, I can recommend three resources. First, here is a list of all pro bono work in the state...

…and another list:

Finally, you may call your local law school and see if they have a legal clinic place available. The legal clinic is a free service the school(s) provide to the community. While they are often overbooked, they have openings sometimes. Here is the list law schools in your state:

Hopefully, this may help.

Good luck.

Please note: I aim to give you genuine information and not necessarily to tell you only what you wish to hear. Please, rate me on the quality of my information and do not punish me for my honesty. I understand that hearing things less than optimal is not easy, and I empathize.

Gentle Reminder: Please use the REPLY button to keep chatting, or RATE my answer when we are finished. Kindly rate my answer as one of the top three faces and then submit, as this is how I get credit for my time with you. Rating my answer the bottom two faces does not give me credit and reflects poorly on me, even if my answer is correct. I work very hard to formulate an informative and honest answer for you; please reciprocate my good faith. (You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating.)
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No thanks I am just trying to do the best I can by myself I appreciate your honesty. I have filed a good answer to his petition and appeared once. I just need to prove I am a good mother. I was just worried about the exparte thing. You gave great advice and I will look into these websites.

My pleasure, then.

Good luck, and please don't forget to rate my answer in one of top three faces and then SUBMIT – it is the only way I get credit for my time with you – or, please REPLY to keep on chatting – I want you to be satisfied.
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