HomeChild SupportChild support “we get paid if you get paid” Lawyers?
Posted in Child Support on 23rd December 2010

Child support “we get paid if you get paid” Lawyers?
My friend’s mother is fighting for child support on her youngest son. She doesn’t have enough money for a lawyer. I’ve seen the “we get paid only if you get paid” lawyers for personal injury cases, but haven’t seen any for child support. Do they exist? Does she have any other options?

Best answer(s):

Answer by Blue October
No—not for child support. you will need to pay for the attorney, court costs, document costs etc.

however, meet with an attorney – as your first meeting is usually free. discuss a payment plan with him…this is what i did and it did take a while to pay him off…but it was well worth it.

good luck 🙂

Answer by Ken
A contingent fee is illegal in a child support case. The reason is that the fee would be taken from the child support and that is improper.

Every state has a child support office to collect child support. In my state, and in many others, it is called the IV-D Prosecutor. Look online for your prosecutor or district attorney and call them and ask for assistance.

Good luck, if you post your state I can post some additional info (or you can email me).

Answer by Legal Monkey
No. Child support judgments and personal injury awards are two different things. Lawyers exist to make money. A child support judgment awards money to YOU, to support your CHILD, not your lawyer. Judges will not award you attorney fees either (at least in California) for this type of civil case. It is in essence an injunction, to effect the spouses’ continued financial support of their kin, and not monetary relief. A personal injury award however is monetary relief; an award that can come into the excess of hundreds of thousands.

Answer by Redisca
It is illegal for a lawyer to charge contingency fees in divorce and child custody cases. To my knowledge, no jurisdiction will allow a lawyer to take a piece of the child’s money after the case is won, so your friend’s only solution is to figure out a way to pay an upfront retainer.

If she is truly indigent, she should contact the courthouse about having a lawyer appointed for her, the Legal Aid, or, as a last resort — a local law school (law schools run “clinics” for cases rejected by everyone else).

Answer by sensible_man
Personal injury lawyers get 33% of the award. Child support should have been in the divorce order. Talking to an attorney is a suggestion but, many who win cases “forget” they owe the attorney so upfront fees are charged. She could also include in the case that her attorneys fees be paid by the one she is asking support from. Sometimes granted, sometimes not.

Answer by laughter_every_day
lawyers don’t do that for several reasons. One it is unethical. Two, there is no award of damages for past conduct from which they can take their fee. An award of support is a requirement for future payments. Finally, those payments are to be used for the support of children. Manty familly courts have self-help centers. In addition, every county has a government agent charged with assisting in collecting support. They generally work for the District Attorney. Finally, most familly courts are relatively informal and the judge participates in the questioning and that can help.

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