Legal aid helps Shaina* gain custody
of and support for her children.
After her unhappy marriage ended, Shaina's ex-husband, Dan, still lived in the same mobile home park. His presence was a constant reminder of the problems he created in raising and providing for their children. While she struggled to cover the costs of daycare, groceries, and medical expenses, Dan was absent for weeks at a time, ignoring the responsibilities of their shared parenting agreement. When the children were with Dan, he often left them with his alcoholic girlfriend.
Shaina sought help from LAWO, where her attorney advised her to file a motion to modify their parenting agreement. After years of abuse, Shaina was afraid to stand up to Dan, but after meeting with an LAWO attorney, she decided to act. When Dan refused to negotiate, Shaina and her attorney persisted.
Finally, after obtaining legal counsel, Dan agreed to settle the case. Shaina was named the residential parent and legal custodian of their children for school purposes. Now, Shaina receives monthly child support from Dan, understands she is eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit, and is finally caught up on her finances. She and her children appreciate the stability and justice LAWO brought to their lives.
(*not her real name)