Does a request to enter default affect my custody court order

Asked over 1 year ago - Oxnard, CA

I already have a custody court order but i did not contest the divorce where my spouse asked for full custody

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Cathleen Elisabeth Norton


    Contributor Level 17


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . How do you have custody order without a pending case? Regardless, of course the default judgment effects your custody--if it is granted, then he will be awarded sole legal and physical custody if that is what he asked for and you chose not to respond to the lawsuit. You need to seek the advice of counsel immediately and there are often unintended consequences of not participating in the divorce. In the meantime, I am including links below which will help you educate yourself on the law. Good luck.

    If you found this answer helpful, let me know by clicking the "Mark as Helpful" button or "Best Answer" at the... more
  2. Cameron Todd Norris


    Contributor Level 11


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . I agree with Ms. Norton.

    I believe that you asked the same question multiple different ways, but here goes nothing:

    It is difficult for any of the attorneys to give you a precise answer on Avvo without more facts, but it seems that you received a temporary custody order without technically having what is called an "appearance." Most likely that would mean that you had a separate domestic violence case, a separate child support case through DCSS, or some other case that was not consolidated with the dissolution (divorce) petition filed by the other party.

    If you fail to respond and the other party takes your default the judge can make a permanent custody order that would trump the temporary order you most likely have. You should respond. If they have already entered your default, you should file a motion to set aside the default along with your proposed response. This is a very time sensitive issue. Most of the grounds for setting aside the default expire 6 months from when they vest. You should really consult a family law attorney to ensure your custody rights are harmed because you failed to respond.

    Best of luck.

    Cameron Norris, Esq. of the Law Office of Gary W. Norris can be reached at (805) 482-1170 or at cameron@... more
  3. Shazad Z Omar


    Contributor Level 15

    Answered . I agree with the previous response and want to stress the importance of responding to all court documents. Not responding the a divorce petition can have custody and visitation ramifications. It is tough to give you any guidance without additional facts to ascertain the best means of obtaining resolution for your family law matters. It is important for you to speak to an attorney that can help address your concerns and create a course of action to obtain resolution in the divorce.

    This response is not intended, nor should it be construed as legal advice. Any information provided is for... more

Related Topics


Divorce is the process of formally ending a marriage. Divorces may be jointly agreed upon, resolved by negotiation, or decided in court.

Child Custody in a Divorce

Child custody may be physical or legal. Physical custody covers who the child lives with, and legal custody is the right to make decisions.

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