Stockton, CA asked in Uncategorized for California

Q: In December of 2019 my husband filed for a divorce w/c it was never finalized due to Covid 19 & all the closures.

I have now been hit with child support papers. And our divorce as mentioned above is still not finalized, my husband never served me any of the papers for the divorce. We've been married almost 14 years. There is no property to split. Just the custody of our 10 year old daughter.. I NEED HELP ASAP! I want custody of my daughter back due to the fact that he's messing up badly. We are split up again because he's a narcissistic cheater. I would like to see about getting a Pro Bono Family Law Attorney ASAP! Child support is wanting me to pay 583.00 a month from when I gave birth to her and had my daughter in my care for the first 7 years of her life... Could I now file for a divorce from him due to the fact that he never finished the one he filed and possibly ask the judge to modify the temporary custody order from his divorce case?? I feel so overwhelmed and blindsided... Any help is greatly appreciated

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Under California law, you have the right to file for divorce yourself, even if your husband initiated the process previously but did not complete it. This new filing can address all pertinent issues, including child custody, support, and any other matters relevant to your situation. Since the initial divorce was never finalized, you can start a new case to ensure all your concerns, especially regarding your daughter's custody, are heard in court.

Regarding child support, if there's been a significant change in circumstances, such as a change in custody or financial situation, you may request a modification of the child support order. It’s important to gather all relevant documentation related to your income, your husband’s income, the time each parent spends with your daughter, and any expenses related to her care. This information will be critical in arguing for a fair child support arrangement that reflects your current situation.

To find a pro bono family law attorney, consider reaching out to local legal aid organizations, bar associations, or law schools in California. These institutions often provide free legal services to those who qualify based on income or other factors. They can offer guidance, represent you in court if necessary, and help navigate the complexities of filing for divorce and contesting child support and custody issues. Remember, acting swiftly to address these legal matters is crucial for protecting your rights and ensuring the best outcome for your daughter.

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