It's not a question of a change in the law, but a change in financing. Legal Aid is primarily financed by federal dollars & private donations. As those become scarcer, Legal Aids around the country have to triage their services. Most will now only handle certain types of cases. For instance, many will prepare paperwork for non-contested divorces, but will not handle those which are contested.
A joint custody arrangement usually requires both parents to really be willing to work together as partners, even though they are seperated. If your ex is hard to get along with or controlling and manipulative, he may be going for full custody because he still wants to be able to control you through your child. If your relationship is volitile and difficult, joint custody is usually discouraged, as this requires you to have frequent contact. And this increases the odds that you will have episodes of violence or temper in front of your child. You both have to be willing to really work together, without competing or fighting, for the good of your child.
The typical joint custody arrangement usually includes equal parenting time, with times agreed upon by both of you. It is also possible to give one parent full physical custody and both have joint legal custody, which simply means that the child lives with one parent most of the time, but both parents have an equal say in the child's upbringing and in making important decisions like education, medical care, ect.
If you have any history of abuse in your relationship: verbal, emotional, financial please make sure you document that for the court. If you're at all concerned about your safety or your child's welfare while in the care of your ex, make sure you communicate these to the court as well. If you suspect that your ex is only motivated to seek full custody in order to control you or hurt you, communicate this as well. Thankfully, courts today are becoming more aware of issues relating to domestic violence and are more ready to protect women and children from further abuse.
If you are clear, non emotional and make all your points to the court, you are likely to get a full custody order, as well as child support. Also, if you suspect that your ex is trying to avoid paying you support, and is seeking custody because of this, communicate this to the court as well. It is possible to petition and fight your own custody battle, if you keep your head. Go online and look up your state's statutes and read the law. Knowledge is power!
Take good care and feel free to message me if you have any further questions.