Neosho, MO asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Missouri

Q: How can a judge enter a default judgment in custody case 5 days before pre trial conference?

My son started a custody case 6 months before he became extremely disabled due to MVA on New years eve. His attorney dropped his case for non payment while we were waiting on social security to start. I have guardianship and conservatorship of him now. Received a notice of court date for ptc for October 17th 2022. Judge enter a judgment of default for paternity custody and child support. His kids mom took the kids away he hasn't seen them for 6 months prior to his accident. I care for him alone and we are very limited on income. How can I continue my sons fight to see his kids? His recovery from brain injury is going to be a very slow process. We deserve to see his kids. I lived with them for 18 months prior to her moving out and helped babysit and support my grandbabies. She us trying to marry and have them adopted. This is cruel and heartless. Where can I get help?

Related Topics:
1 Lawyer Answer
Cynthia W. Trice
Cynthia W. Trice
  • Divorce Lawyer
  • Town & Country, MO
  • Licensed in Missouri

A: Hi,

I am sorry that your family is experiencing something like this. It appears to be very strange that a judge would just enter a default judgment so abruptly like this. Are you sure that a court date or two was not missed? Normally, the court gives pro se litigants (individuals proceeding without an attorney) lots of latitude to find another attorney or appear to respond to the case. Why did the judge enter a judgment while there was a Pre-trial Conference yet to occur on 10-17-22? There are many unanswered questions and missing facts that prevent me from answering your question. However, your son should be able to file a modification to get some custody of the children or as a grandparent, you should be able to file for visitation or third party shared custody. These cases can be very expensive. Since your funds are limited, you could try contacting Legal Aid of Eastern Missouri or Catholic Legal Assistance Ministry to obtain legal assistance. You can also contact the area law schools to see if they have a clinic that would assist you free of charge. The schools in the area are Washington University School of Law and St. Louis University School of Law. You should be able to google to find these entities. Good luck, and take care.

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.