Q: If my daughter did not respond to a child custody suit in 30 days, is there anything that she can do.
My daughter just went through a divorce in Oct. from a very violent & abusive husband in which her 2 boys live with him. Shortly after the divorce he no longer let her see or talk to the boys & in Dec. she was served with custody papers. She tried to get help from legal aid because she can't afford a lawyer & could not find one to help her, the ones she talked to wanted 3 to 5 hundred dollars just to talk to her. So then she fell into a deep depression in which she stayed in bed for 3 weeks because she felt like he had beaten her again. She has mounds of documented proof of the type man he is but can't afford a lawyer to help her get her boys back in her life. Her ex remarried on Jan 2nd & on social media his new wife is calling my daughters sons, her boys. She has a court date of Feb. 15 & in order to get her out of bed I told her I would research & try to represent her. The law is complicated & I knew nothing of the 30 day to comply law.Is there anyway to help or get help for her now
A: The 30 day window to respond is more relevant in other types of lawsuits. For a custody hearing, the court will still need to have a hearing and hear evidence as to the custodial schedule that is in the children's best interests. From what you've said of your daughter, she will need to get her life in order and demonstrate to the court that the children's lives would be improved with regular contact with her.
At a hearing, you won't be able to represent her and she will need to introduce evidence (through testimony) and argue her own case. You can help her prepare and can be called as a witness, but can't make any arguments for her.
I would consider paying for a consultation with a local family law attorney. You both could use the consult time to learn how to prepare for a hearing and what to expect in Court.
1 user found this answer helpful
Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.
The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.
Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.