Over in The Great Debate, you're discussing lack of counsel in New Hampshire in civil child custody, child abuse, child neglect matters. I repeat, these are civil matters. There is only a constitutional right to counsel in criminal matters, matters for which the accused can go to prison for a fixed period of time. These NH cases are civil matters, involving fines and child custody. There is no constitutional right to counsel in civil matters. These civil cases can involve jail time, if a fine or payment is ordered by the court and the parent does not pay. The parent can be held in jail for contempt of court. But the parent will be released once he pays the fine or child support. The incarceration is an encouragement to comply, not a punishment for non-compliance. (For obvious reasons, it's also a last resort of the court system; hard to pay anything when you're not working; can't squeeze blood from a turnip.)
Lawyers are talking a lot these days about a right to counsel in civil matters. Obviously, custody of one's child can be a much bigger deal than the possibility of a few year's probation. It does seem incongruous that there may be a right to counsel for cases involving the latter but no right for the former. But, how to pay for it...?