What can I do if I can no longer afford a attorney and don’t want to be pro se?

I have been in RI family court for 4 years; I have been legally divorced for 3. I can no longer afford a attorney without ruining my children’s future. My ex is on attorney #5. I have physical possession of my children and they see my ex 1 hour a week. Can the case go forward if I can’t afford an attorney and I don’t want to represent myself?

Asked on September 20, 2011 under Family Law, Rhode Island


MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You don't have a choice. If you don't have an attorney, you have to represent yourself or face having this case be dismissed or adjudicated in your husband's favor. Before you lose hope, get on the phone and call the state bar in Rhode Island. Find out if it has programs that are low cost or no cost or can point you to law firms or organizations in Rhode Island that offer pro bono or low cost help. If this is going on for this long, most of the complicated issues should have been resolved by now but if they have not been, see if Rhode Island has conciliation court to get this done and over with.


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