I plan on joining the Army within the next couple of weeks but for me to go active duty I need to sign custody of my daughter over to a family member because her dad is already in the army but still at job training. I contacted our local court and they said we would have to hire an attorney but we did not explain the situation to them.
It's a good idea to have an attorney but it's not required. For a simple, uncontested matter it's well worth the money to ensure that the documents are drafted properly.
I believe that your local clerk was probably telling you that he/she would be unable to provide you any legal advice as to the questions you were asking. If you are signing over guardianship of your daughter, then that will require a special proceedings action before the Clerk of Court in your county. While you can sign over guardianship in a non-legal proceeding, if your daughter is school-aged and is changing school districts, many schools will not accept that non-legal document as sufficient for enrollment.
To sign over custody, you will need to file a court action. If you cannot afford an attorney, check with the local child custody mediator, likely located in your county courthouse, and see if they have the self-help packets for custody. If you and your husband can consent to your family member having custody of your daughter, an attorney can draft the appropriate paperwork to include that family member as a party to the action and you guys can consent to the custodial arrangements, even with a set time period.
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