Questions and Answers

If you have a default establishment in an child custody case, does the defendant has to show up?

My child’s father never answered his summon or default order. I ask for sole custody because the father doesn’t have a stable home, no job, history of violence, and history of taking his kids from the mother. I have a witness and documents. So what will the outcome be when we go to court?


Additional information

I also called child protective services on him because he left her in the parking lot in her stroller. The worker told me that was neglect. So I can’t see the judge giving him any custody. What will happen when I tell the judge that?

ANSWER

In Custody matters, the Court cannot exclude a parent from participating even when there is a default order. So, the Dad may show up and you have to be prepared for that. You prepare your case to prove all the things you need to prove. For example, you should have witnesses and paperwork to show your income, Dad’s income, daycare costs, health insurance costs, etc. Bring report cards, immunization records, etc. to show the child is healthy, and doing well in school. Pictures of your house or of the child in activities may also help. Definitely bring 1-2 witnesses who have observed you and your child often and recently. If you are alleging that the Dad is not fit and proper to have custody or extended visitation bring paperwork and witnesses to corroborate your testimony on this. In the end, the Court will order custody based on the child’s best interests. It would be helpful for you to speak with an attorney about this.

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