Modification Hearing- Do we need an attorney

My fiance’ has requested a modification hearing to review child support and to obtain temporary full time custody. Does he need to be represented by a lawyer? If he cannont afford one, is one appointed to him? He does not feel comfortable representing himself but has an extremely good case and a lot of factors that work in his favor.

Thank you.

I always recommend that folks obtain counsel, especially when dealing with custody and child support as the rules of court can be difficult to understand. If your fianc? can show that he cannot afford an attorney, one will not be appointed as there is no right to counsel in domestic matters, only criminal. If his ex earns substantially more than him he can ask that she be ordered to reimburse him for attorney’s fees, or he may try and seek assistance from legal aid.

I can tell you from experience that it would be in your best interest to get an attorney. My husband recently had to go back to court for child support modification. One the first day (it was continued 3 times) he did not have an attorney. The judge told him if he did not have an attorney they would just simply go by what the CSE prpopsed even if he had objections. So we obtained an attorney. Turned out the mother and CSE were giving false information on the cs worksheets (claiming mom was unemployed and paid health insurance when actually she works and was on government paid insurance). The only way this was discovered was when our attorney requested verification of employment, wages and insurance payment. Attorney can get information that you cannot. CSE had worked out a raise of almost $200 per month. After the truth came out cs was raised by $24 a month. It was well worth it to obtain the attorney!