Brunswick, ME asked in Criminal Law, Family Law and Child Custody for Illinois

Q: Should I get another lawyer? Are there any pro bono lawyers that can help me with my case? What advice can you give me?

I'm dealing with a situation where I have a baby on the way. We live in two different states. The mother lives in Chicago and I live Maine. I met her online and at some point I met up with her in Chicago. I discovered she was a heroin addict. We ended up separating and I went back to Maine because I couldn't handle her drug addiction. The baby is due to be born within 2 weeks because there inducing labor soon. My current lawyer hasnt had the best response times which concerns me cause the mother recently called and told me that when the child is born they will take it into immediate child protective services and into foster care. Obviously my expectations where for my lawyer to have a action plan and respond with educated responses atleast within 24 hours which hasn't been the case recently, she is a family law lawyer but doesn't have any experience handling DCFS cases. I'm trying to get custody of the baby so I can take it to Maine. What are my options?

1 Lawyer Answer
William Wolf
William Wolf
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Chicago, IL
  • Licensed in Illinois

A: My understanding of the purpose of this service is this:

It is to ask questions so the questioner can decide 1. If a lawyer is needed for the situation the questioner presents, and 2. to help find the lawyer that questioner is most comfortable with to hire.

My understanding of the terms of service here is that lawyers will not say "pick me" in response to "I need a lawyer". Also, this is not the place to ask for someone you don't know to represent you for free. While many lawyers, including me, do pro bono work from time to time, it is usually for truly deserving people who are destitute and have nothing. Not for people who simply don't want to spend the money.

That being said, you clearly need a good lawyer to represent you in your situation. Whether or not you're getting that now, I cannot say. If you're dissatisfied with your current counsel, you should find someone to hire that will meet your needs who has experience handling juvenile court matters. That can be very different from the family law fights that divorce court brings to the table.

If you truly cannot afford a lawyer for the case in juvenile court, you can ask the judge to appoint the public defender to represent you. The judge may ask you about your finances under oath to see if you qualify. If the judge does think you qualify, and appoints you a lawyer, you won't be able to choose your own lawyer. That lawyer will be selected for you.

Best of luck to you.

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