How to Apply for Legal Aid in a Child Custody Case

By Mike Broemmel

Updated July 21, 2017

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Child custody law and court proceedings represent a complex area of family law. If you face a child custody case, seriously consider obtaining a lawyer. The fact that you may lack funds to hire private counsel does not preclude you from obtaining legal representation, according to "Child Custody A to Z" by Guy J. White. The American Bar Association maintains contact information for organizations across the country that provide no-cost legal representation in child custody cases, including local legal aid societies.

Contact the legal aid organization closest to your community, either by going to the office in person or by telephone.

Request an application for representation. Alternatively, a growing number of local legal aid organizations maintain websites that include an application form you can download.

Complete the application, following the instructions included with the document.

Include basic information about the type of representation required and the status of the child custody dispute or case.

Provide requested information about your income--if any--and your other financial resources. Legal aid establishes income guidelines in determining who to represent. These guidelines vary from organization to another.

Return the completed application form to the legal aid office.

Respond to any requests for additional information promptly.