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How can i get a family law lawyer to do probono

Santa Maria, CA |

I am a victim of domestic violence. I have a son with my ex boyfriend and my son has his last name. I am trying to change my sons last name to mine. I had to went to court and the judge said that i most likely wont be able to get his last name changed. How can i push to get my sons last name to mine? My ex boyfriend was never around while I was pregnant, never went to doctors appointments but 3, wasn't there for the birth of my son and while we were living together he would only spend 20 minutes the most with him all day. He is mentally unstable and he is also trying to change my restraining order so he can get visitation with my son. I don't want him around my son. What do I do?

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Attorney answers 2


With all due respect, your expectations are unreasonable on several levels. First of all, you are expecting a private attorney, who has living expenses and overhead to cover, to work for free. Many attorneys accept cases like yours on a pro bono basis through legal services programs where applicants are screened for financial and subject matter eligibility. Even through those programs, however, cases like yours are not particularly attractive to attorneys due to unrealistic expectations and the propensity of cases like this trap the attorney into a case that never ends.

It is possible that the current state of the ex's parental rights does not include contact, and legal procedings outside the restraining order would need to be initiated by the father. Your needs will be best served by finding a way to purchase a consultation with an experienced family law practitioner to learn the answers for your case.

Best wishes for an outcome you can accept, and please remember to designate a best answer.

This answer is offered as a public service for general information only and may not be relied upon as legal advice.


I agree with Ms. Sinclair. You cannot force an attorney to take a case on pro bono. Furthermore, your case sounds like it is likely to be complicated. You certainly would benefit from advice of an experienced family law attorney.

Good luck.