A Father Seeks Custody of His Son
Joshua called ELAP with a question about how to secure custody of his son, Danny who is living with his step-father. Joshua’s ex-wife, Danny’s mother left her current husband, leaving Danny with him. Joshua does not know his ex-wife’s whereabouts and has no way to contact her. Joshua feels it would be best for his son to be with him and not with his step-father.
Joshua was given an appointment in a Family Law legal clinic where he was able to meet with a volunteer attorney for 45 minutes and obtain legal advice on what to do. The volunteer attorney explained that there is a way to proceed with the custody proceedings, even though he did not know how to contact his wife; it involves service by publication, where notice of the custody proceedings is published in a local newspaper of general circulation. The attorney explained the complete process and the next steps Joshua would need to take.
After providing this advice, the volunteer attorney offered to draft a Summons by Publication, and Motion, Declaration and Order for Default for him, at no charge. She completed these the next day after the legal clinic appointment and emailed them to him.
As Joshua continues through the process, he can return for additional appointments at the Family Law legal clinic for additional advice and review of documents. Representing oneself in the legal system can be challenging, and ELAP is there to assist people like Joshua with appointments in our legal clinics and with additional brief services.