Sarah*, an immigrant from Central America, had been with Martin* for 20 years when she finally left him. Over two decades of their relationship, she endured intimate partner violence and his alcoholism, but never stopped advocating for herself and her children.  

When Sarah came to Ayuda in December of 2021, she was determined to build a safe and secure future for her children. Working with our Domestic Violence and Family Law (DVFL) attorneys, she filed for child custody and child support.  

Martin failed to appear at the initial hearing. The court was ready to move forward in his absence, but reversed course when he chose to appear at a later hearing, significantly delaying Sarah’s case. When Sarah and Martin were directed to mediate, Ayuda’s attorneys made sure that Sarah’s limited literacy was not a barrier. They carefully walked her through the court orders and proposed settlement agreements. 

In court, Sarah was vocal about Martin’s alcoholism and the impact it has had on her children. When the year-long case finally came to a close, Sarah was awarded sole physical custody and joint legal custody of their children. Martin was ordered to stop consuming alcohol around his kids and to pay $870/month in child support. 

*Names and photo have been changed to protect our client’s identity.