Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for California

Q: Trying to serve other parent with custody papers but he avoiding sheriff what happens if not served in CA?

Trying to serve the other parent with child custody hearing papers but he is avoiding the Sheriff here in CA. What will happen at the hearing since he can't get served? Will the judge grant me temp sole custody? I cant afford an atty and I don't know how to find a pro bono atty. Thank you for your time.

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2 Lawyer Answers
Heather Mellyn Cullen
Heather Mellyn Cullen
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Divorce Lawyer
  • Temecula, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: It is unlikely you will find a pro bono attorney for a family law matter. However, most courts offer an assistance center and have an attorney on staff to assist parties who are representing themselves. You can also request that service by allowed by a substitution method (most commonly by publication). If this is your first hearing date since filing your request, it is likely that your hearing will get continued to allow additional time for service. However, you may ask the court for temporary orders while waiting for the next hearing.

It is in your best interest to consult with an experienced family law attorney who practices in the courthouse wherein your matter will be heard.

I hope the above answer is helpful.

Good luck to you.

Andy Chen agrees with this answer

Andy Chen
Andy Chen
Answered
  • Modesto, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: If the sheriff is the one doing the service, that helps you as the sheriff's statement of being unable to find him despite multiple attempts will likely be convincing to the judge. Serving by some alternate means (e.g. publication, posting, etc) may be an option for you.

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