Tasha Asks: My ex and I have been separated for 7 months. Four months ago, he said that he can no longer pay support. I took the children to his house because I can't pay for child care. After one week he went to the courts to file an order for temporary child custody. There isn't anything signed by a judge and it has not be granted yet. He will not let me speak to the children when I call. I cannot afford an attorney right now. What are your suggestions for me?

Brette's Answer: It is possible a judge granted him custody of the children, since they had been with him for so long. If a permanent order has been granted to him without any notice to you, you can have it overturned. Go to your family court and ask to see any papers that have to do with you so you can determine what is going on. You might also find out if there is a free legal services agency in your vicinity that might be able to help you with this.

If he doesn't pay child support, you need to contact the state child support enforcement office and tell them and ask for it to be enforced. If you are having financial difficulties, you should also talk to your state social services department and ask for assistance. Good luck.
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