my 4 year old daughter has been living with my mother until I got things settled and got into my own apartment. now I believe she has filed custody papers and wants to take her away. her father already signed something but I haven't been notified of a court date or anything. I am ready and can offer her a good and stable home. I ha e proof of that and that I am registered in college to finish my degree. my mother won't speak to me and I rarely get to talk to my daughter. can I just go get her or do I have to take her to court?
Divorce / Separation Lawyer
You're asking two different questions. Do you need an attorney? You are not required to have one, but it is a very good idea. You stand little chance in Court without one.
Can you just go get your daughter from your Mom, or do you have to have a Court order to do that? I don't know if there is a court order already governing your child, although it sounds like your mom has already filed something. Ask your Mom what is going on, and also check with the District Clerk of the County you live in if there is a case on file.
This information is not legal advice and does not form an attorney-client relationship.
I would hire an experienced family law attorney immediately. Hire the best attorney that you can afford. Look on the excellent website. Most offer a free consultation. Find one that you can "talk" to & feel comfortable with. Don't wait - do it NOW! Most take payment plans.
I also agree with the other attorney that answered this question - it sounds like something is happening -- so don't wait for the paperwork.
You voluntarily gave your child to your mother so that is not good. I know that you did it trying to be a good parent but it will not look good in good in court to a judge because now you are going to try to disrupt your child's home life. Your child is used to living with your mother so why should this child have to move now that you have finally gotten your life stabilized? The burden is now shifted to you to show why the child should be moved -- are you beginning to get the picture?
I doubt that the pro bono (free) agencies in the Houston area have the resources to help you in a timely manner. They are Lone Star Legal, Houston Volunteer Lawyer at 713-228-0732 and the law school - South Texas College of Law, University of Houston and Texas Southern University - that I am aware of -- there might be more but they would be small. Their waiting lines are very long. You can call them and the United Way.
Don't get discouraged - it sounds like you are a loving & caring mother that is trying to do the best for her child. So keep loving & caring for your child.
Remember....mediation is an alternative -- I charge $250 per side for 4 hours.
There is also the DRC and the DRO for free in the Houston area.
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Best to hire an attorney. Your odds of getting what you want typically increase when represented by an attorney.