My question involves a child custody case from the State of: Arkansas
A little history - I left my abusive ex a few years ago. I left my daughter with his mother so I could go to Texas to find a new place and I was to go back to get her when all was settled. I did not realize, when I did this, that she and my ex would claim that I left and abandoned them both. He came to Dallas after that, we actually worked on reconciling, or so I thought. During this time, he went behind my back and filed for divorce and full custody claiming he did not know where I was, had notice placed in the paper and got what he wanted from the court because I never received notice and was unable to attend. I didn't have the money to pursue getting her back and he has told me that he has restraining orders on me as well as having my parental rights terminated. I didn't know the law. I thought because he was able to get full custody without my participation that he could also terminate my parental rights the same way. I recently called the court and asked for any and all paperwork they have against me. All they have is the original divorce and custody papers. I have tried to reach out to my daughter, only to be shut down and threatened. He has threatened to hurt me or have me thrown in jail.
Also, my daughter does not live with him. She lives with his mother.
I received papers from the court in Arkansas on September 13th for a restraining order against me and the hearing is tomorrow. They claim that they are afraid I am going to kidnap her and that his mother adopted my daughter. I have never made such a threat and was never notified of any adoption, like I was never notified of the termination of my parental rights or the restraining order they claim to have already had against me. I am going to court to respond, but have not had time to find an attorney, nor do I really have the money, but I am going to try.
My questions are, can I ask the court for a postponement so I can have reasonable time to find an attorney? How can I go about finding one pro bono? Are there any organizations what might help me considering this is an abusive situation, even though I don't live in Arkansas?
Also, I would like to work on getting custody of my daughter. IF she was adopted, she was adopted fraudulently. IF my parental rights were terminated, they were terminated fraudulently. If they can find me to serve me with THIS request for a restraining order, they could find me to serve me with all the other paperwork they claimed they filed against me as they have always known how to get a hold of me.
I didn't fight for her before because I was afraid of him and I didn't know the law. I believed him when he said he would hurt me and I believed him when he said he had my rights taken from me.