Dear friends and supporters,
Our friend, Natalie, and her two beautiful children are in dire need of our support. Natalie is a daughter, cousin, mom, college graduate, professional, activist and devoted friend to many. Her and her children have been in an on-going custody battle for almost 3 years now, which has left them out of money and in need of our help.
Your contribution will be a powerful, timely support system to meet their legal needs and at this time will be the sole source of support for the cause at hand.
Natalie is a working professional but unfortunately, even on the shallow end of the scale, legal fees can easily cause the average individual to go broke. As a community, we have been helping Natalie come up with ideas to raise funds to continue her legal battle. Natalie has already had a few yard sales and asked to borrow money from close friends (including their 401k) and she is out of options to cover the legal costs.
We believe in Natalie. We believe in her right to a fair and just representation in court with proper legal counsel and experts in these extreme circumstances.
California Family court process is a lengthy and complicated procedure that is hard on both parents and children. At this stage, Natalie needs an attorney to help her with a proper strategy within the system.
This case is in Evaluation stage, which means that an independent Evaluator has been appointed by the court to conduct independent expert evaluation of both parents and children. The Evaluation will be ready on/or around February 26th, 2014, at which time the report will be presented to the judge. In order that there be no "backlash" against any mental health care professional, or against any of the children or teachers for honest comments they have made to the Evaluator, the body or main part of the report is strictly confidential and can only be reviewed by attorneys. If someone is unrepresented, they are still prevented from seeing that part of the report. So it is imperative that Natalie obtain an experienced attorney by the next court hearing date when the Evaluation will be presented to the court. Otherwise, Natalie will not have a fair opportunity to defend herself and protect her parental rights.
An experienced Family Law attorney in the Bay area can demand anywhere from $200 to $600 an hour. This roughly amounts to about $1000 for a single court appearance. In Family matters a court appearance is usually required every 2 to 4 weeks. Not to mention attorney communication hours, legal research and litigation preparation time. It is easy to see how within the last few years, Natalie ended up with $75,000 attorney fees.
Our friend Natalie is loved and supported and has reached out to people by sharing her story in raising two young children and going through a tough divorce and custody battle.
Natalie needs our help. Can you help?
All donations go directly to Natalie's account to be used for legal purposes.