They look at how much you earn, what you own, and how many people you take care of.
Here are some important things to consider:
Income: You can get a free lawyer if you earn less than a certain amount, usually around 125% of the federal poverty level. This includes all your money, like from your job, child support, or government help.
Stuff you own: You can’t have too many assets. There’s a limit, but they don’t count certain things like your house or car. The limit is usually between $2,500 and $10,000.
Expenses: They look at what you need to spend money on every month, like rent, bills, and taking care of your family. They compare this to how much money you have.
Usually, you’ll make monthly payments set by the court.
If your money situation changes, you can ask to pay less.
But it’s important to take these payments seriously, as not paying can hurt your case.
If necessary, ask for a different lawyer
If your court-appointed lawyer isn’t working out, you can ask for a new one.
Some good reasons for this are:
They have a conflict of interest.
They aren’t doing a good job representing you.
They don’t communicate well.
They’re doing something wrong or illegal.
To get a new lawyer, you have to tell the court why things aren’t going well.
The judge might talk to you and your current lawyer before deciding.
You usually only get one chance to change lawyers, so think about it carefully.
It’s not enough to just not get along; there should be a serious problem like them not doing a good job or doing something wrong.
If you can’t afford a lawyer for your family law case, showing you don’t have much money, doing the paperwork, going to hearings, asking questions, knowing what your lawyer can and can’t do, and paying what the court says – all make sure your free lawyer helps you as best as possible.
It’s affordable help to make your case as good as it can be.