What happens in your case is going to be very specifically related to the quality of the attorney you choose. With limited resources, you may not have many good options. You are best off somehow finding the funds to hire a good custody lawyer.
This information is not legal advice and does not form an attorney-client relationship.
If they are not attorneys then they cannot represent you as an attorney would. They may be able to provide you resources to help you represent yourself but it's not the same as hiring professional legal representation.
I used to volunteer there one morning a week many years ago. I quit when a new Executive Director was hired & I did not like his plans for the place. He is no longer there.
They will not represent you in court.
They basically sell you the legal forms. I've recently seen a set of their forms while I was handling a mediation. The forms are based on the TX Family Practice Manual. The forms that I saw were good.
In Houston, Fathers for Equal Rights has some attorneys that volunteer their time to with people in person in their office and talk to you. These are experienced family law attorneys that practice family law full-time & know the Harris County judges. A know a couple of them & they are good attorneys. They know what they are talking about. But they will not go to court with you.
I know a couple of the attorneys that volunteer on a regular basis at Fathers for Equal Rights in Houston. After you meet with one (or more) of these volunteer attorneys. You can then go to their private office & hire these attorneys on your own. I recommend that you do this because most of them have a lot of courtroom experience.
If the mom is going to fight you, I highly recommend that you hire an attorney.
I hope this answers your question. Houston attorneys generally do not like this group. I believe the group is now changing their name because they now allow women to use their services too. Since I have not been involved in this group for over 6 years I will not comment. When I volunteered I liked the group of attorneys that volunteered their time - they were all committed volunteer attorneys trying to help men in the courtroom. I quit when the ED changed & I did not like the new ED -- he was a non-attorney from out-of-state.
Fran Brochstein has over 20 years legal experience & enjoys educating the public about Texas laws. She is a full-time family law mediator in the Houston area. If you found this answer "helpful" or "best answer", please select the button to show your appreciation. Please understand that this is not a personal consultation and in no way creates an attorney-client relationship. You are strongly encouraged to consult with an attorney in your county in person about your specific legal problem. You can contact her at 713-805-9591 - 7 days a week - her personal cell phone.
Sign up to receive a 3-part series of useful information and advice about child custody law.