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Debt Relief – Insolvency – Bankruptcy Information » Legal Help » How do you respond to a legal paper when you are out of the state it came from and do not have an attorney?

How do you respond to a legal paper when you are out of the state it came from and do not have an attorney?

My friend’s husband wants to keep their daughter and he has just sent her a letter that he intends to sue for child support and custody. She has 28 days to respond. She tried to get a lawyer to respond to the paper but they won’t b/c they are not licensed in his state. What is a legal response and how can she get it done w/o going to Michigan? Can’t she do it herself? If so, how? Google search gave me nothing.

Thanks for any help.
She can’t afford an attorney.


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7 Responses to "How do you respond to a legal paper when you are out of the state it came from and do not have an attorney?"

  1. Meg says:
    Find an attorney licensed in the husband’s state and have them respond. Many large firms have attorneys that are licensed in multiple states. She should not respond herself.
  2. ilikeatosayhollycrap says:
    First off you can’t sue for children. They aren’t cash or slaves. She has to get a lawyer who is licensed for that state. Which, I would recommend doing so, because her husband may get a lawyer. This would make it very dificult for her to represent herself.
  3. oceanlady_slh67 says:
    It sounds as though she was served with an Order to Show Cause. What she needs to do is contact the local State Bar Association in her County and have her ask for an attorney that is licensed to practice law in Michigan. If they do not have one in their panel, they will be able to give her a number to call for lawyer referral. Please let her know, also, that she must adhere to the 30 day rule to respond. She has 30 “calendar” days to respond from the date she was served. If she misses the deadline, she could be defaulted. If, however, she gets an attorney, most attorneys will practice professional courtesy and give the attorney an extension to give them time to respond. Good luck.
  4. jtuckerndfw says:
    Without knowing far more than you have provided (and I don’t want to know) it would be impossible for anyone to give you “good” advice, other than hire a lawyer.

    She should contact “Legal Aid” or possibly a woman’s advocacy group (there are many) for advice if she can’t afford an attorney.

    She needs an attorney.

  5. Munz says:
    She can respond to him personally since nothing was submitted through the court.
    If something comes through the court she can represent herself through most family court proceedings in any state. The main issue here is that a court has to take jurisdiction of the issue.
    Did she have custody when she left with the children?
    If so what court granted the custody (this court would have the final ruling)
    If no custody was ever established, then she can run to her local county family court and begin proceedings in the county she is living in now to retain custody and get support from him for the children.
    Best of all things is that once she has filed (if she files first) the county court will most likely not want the father to have custody because he resides outside their jurisdiction.
  6. ilse72 says:
    Hmmm…she better return to MI asap…if that is where they lived together as man and wife. I lived in MI and they are very strict about both parents living in the same state so that the child always has access to both parents. If she left the state, that is probably a point in his favor as far as custody goes. I also went through this same thing with a friend of mine but she never left the state.

    Regardless of who gets custody, if the case is decided by Michigan, both parents will have to reside in that state…UNLESS one parent agrees that the other may leave and the court approves it. My friend has custody of their kids but the ex will not give permission for her/them to leave the state so the court says she must stay…even though it is documented (in police reports and court records) that he abused her. MI wants both parents to have access to their kids.

    Your friend better get an attorney who knows MI child custody laws even if she has to return to MI to do so. If she wants to keep her daughter, she needs to do whatever it takes.

  7. fr_chuck says:
    She will need to get an attorney,in that state, really fast.

    If all else fails she could go down and copy a simular case and use this as a copy of what to file. It is not a good way to do it, but better than nothing else.
    If the husband has a lawyer, you will have a hard time fighting them.

    You will also have to make alot of trips to the state where the court is, expect them to ask for alot of continuence to make it hard on you

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