Can my brother get a public defender for a child custody case? How? 11 Answers as of July 06, 2015

My brother is going through a child custody case with his ex-girlfriend for his 2 girls. He's a good father and loves them as well as they love him. However, my ex-sister-in-law's new boyfriend is very controlling. He hates my brother. He wants her to take the girls completely away from their father so that she does not have any kind of contact with him. My brother just wants equal custody so that he can be part of his daughters' life. This custody case is based on 95% lies. The boyfriend is using her to get to my brother. There are many people who are worried and concerned for her life as well as the life of the girls with this new guy. Can my brother get a public defender to help him with this case?

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Law Office of Barton R. Resnicoff | Barton R. Resnicoff
Under certain circumstances, primarily based upon financial need and inability to pay for private counsel, an assigned attorney can be appointed to represent a parent. Doesn't always happen and there may be financial screening done, including a review of tax returns to make sure there is financial need.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 7/6/2015
Law Office of Martin A. Kahan | Martin A. Kahan
Public defenders are for criminal cases only. He can get a lawyer through legal aid if he qualifies, or he can contact his local bar association for a pro bono (free) lawyer.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/3/2015
Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock
Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock | Arlene D. Kock
Public defenders are not available for family law cases. Your brother should contact the local county bar association where the case is situated to see if he can find a qualified family law attorney on a sliding or low-cost scale.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/3/2015
Law Offices of Helene Ellenbogen, P.S.H | Helene Ellenbogen
No. PDs are available only for criminal matters. He will have to come up with money to pay a lawyer.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 7/3/2015
Peggy M. Raddatz
Peggy M. Raddatz | Peggy M. Raddatz
No he cannot.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 7/2/2015
    Law Offices of Julie A. Ringquist | Julie A. Ringquist
    Public Defenders are only available if the state is initiating an action against you and you are at risk for losing your freedom (jail/prison). They are not available for civil cases. He should do all the self-help he can do, get a free consultation from an attorney, read books, and go to the self-help center at the family law court.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/2/2015
    Grace Law Offices of John F Geraghty Jr.
    Grace Law Offices of John F Geraghty Jr. | John F. Geraghty, Jr.
    No but you may be able to find an Attorney who will work a payment plan for the fees.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/2/2015
    Diane l. Berger | Diane L. Berger
    Public defenders are not assigned to custody cases.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 7/2/2015
    Petit & Dommershausen SC
    Petit & Dommershausen SC | Tajara Dommershausen
    No, public defenders are not assigned for civil cases. You can call legal aid and see if they will help; otherwise, you should search for local legal clinics for him to get some advice.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 7/2/2015
    The Law Offices of Mandy J. McKellar
    The Law Offices of Mandy J. McKellar | Mandy J. McKellar
    No the court will not supply a public defender in a civil case, family law is a civil matter, not criminal. He needs to find assistance of counsel privately. Our firm does provide free consultations.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 7/2/2015
    Law Office of Darin Kanfer | Darin J. Kanfer
    No. Public defenders are for criminal cases only.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 7/2/2015
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