My ex and I have had a Temporary Child Support Order and SAPCR since July 2015. She has never complied with visitation. I have not seen my son in almost 14 months. She moved without giving notice and changed her phone number. It has taken this long to get the AG to set a new hearing date and it is set for June 13. Hiring an attorney is not an option for me. We just simply cannot afford it. And there are no legal help forums in our small town area. I had filed a petition for custody the same time she did. Before the temporary orders were signed. Do I need to re file the same petition, a motion to modify or is my original petition still active from before? And I am filing a motion for enforcement also. Should I request a show cause and emergency hearing prior to the court date already set or can they enforce and modify at the same hearing?
You need an attorney and very bad. In Athens Texas you have several options. You can apply at Lone Star Legal Aid and you might qualify for free legal services if you truly can't afford an attorney. You can also use the Texas lawyer referral service of the State Bar to try and locate an attorney that will take your case for a reduced fee. You can also get some help with Pro Se forms on www.Texaslawhelp.org.
However, I suggest a shift in your thinking when considering hiring an attorney. A person does not pay an attorney is "discretionary funds." Many people that say they can't afford an attorney also have cable TV, or a smart phone, or a car. If you have those things, then you've made choices about priorities, and legal help needs to be one of them. I suggest either borrowing money or paying for a prepaid legal services plan from a company like TexasLegal or Legal Shield so that they can cover the costs of representation. Think of it this way, if you needed surgery to save your live, but didn't have the $40,000-50,000 it would cost, would you just say "I can't afford the surgery, so I won't get it."? No, you'd find a way to either get insurance or borrow the money. That's how you should view hiring an attorney, especially when your children's lives are at stake. Use the resources available to you and try to locate an attorney to represent you, apply at the free places and then if they reject you, then apply for some prepaid legal insurance to cover the attorney's fees.
This answer is not "legal advice" and should not serve as a substitute for the advice of an attorney who is licensed in your applicable jurisdiction. The statements provided herein are for informational purposes only and the recipient of these answers assumes all risk and expressly agrees to seek the advice of the appropriate counsel for his or her situation. Should any formal legal advice be sought, the recipient should contact our law firm at the appropriate phone number or email address.
Unless you have spoken to every family law attorney in Athens area and Legal Aid and Volunteer Lawyers, you should not rule out that hiring an attorney is not an option. You can have a separate enforcement hearing before final hearing which is recommended or have both hearings at same time. You must effect service. If you filed a petition in the present suit, then that petition is still active and pending. You must plead an enforcement specifically, have a show cause issued and have it served on the offending party. You must make out your allegations of the court orders and the violations. You must have done what was required of you for the other party to violate the orders. It is very hard without counsel.
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