Q: Joint custody Ex filed custody case after I filed contempt for his years of unpaid childsupport. Can his case trump mine
He hasn't been served due to false address and no job on file for years. $30K behind
If he filed a pleading and you've responded, the court will set it for a hearing. At that preliminary hearing, and if he shows up, you should make it known to the judge on the record that you believe the address he used to file is not correct, and order him to produce his correct address right then and there. If he states that WAS his address, ask him why he refused service from the court. If the certified mail came back unclaimed/refused, reissue through the clerk's office by ordinary mail (Civ. R. 4).
Your question is "can his case trump mine" -- but these are two different concerns. Child support and custody, while related, are treated as different situations by the court, and in some counties, will be handled by two separate magistrates for that reason. Whether he is paying child support or not does not entitle him to custody, and whether he's a good parent or not does not calculate into child support amounts or arrearages. As to parenting time and custody, you're going to have to show the court that you're more suited to be the custodian of the child using the factors in R.C. 3109. If there's a prior order with those findings, you aren't asking the court for anything they haven't already ordered.
As to child support, he will be on the hook for his arrearages and support payments unless you consent otherwise, or unless the court finds a "substantial change in circumstances." An attorney in your particular county will be able to guide you further, and you should talk with someone as soon as you can.
I agree with my colleague. I will add a few more thoughts.
The competing motions may be merged into a single action. You will need to file a motion to accomplish that. The court will consider his failure to pay support as part of evaluating whether to revise parental rights and responsibilities. An Ohio court must evaluate child custody decisions applying the factors found in R.C. Section 3109.04(F). You should invest the money to hire a family relations law attorney who regularly practices in the county where your case is proceeding.
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