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How do I fight an exparte without a lawyer and not in court? What rights do my children, 16 and 13, have at their age to decide?

Torrance, CA |

Kids are 16 and 13; Have lived with me full time for 2 years, have not seen their dad for nearly a year and have had limited to no communication with their dad, 2-3 texts during the last year, because of his lack of interest and unreliability. I even leased a house 1 block from their dad May 2011-June 2013 to provide easy access for visitation - this did nothing to his unreliability or behavior. He has never provided financial support (alimony or child support). I took a new job in June to better financially support my kids and moved to SF from LA. I notified him by mail of the move and received no response. Now he's filing ex parte for full custody. With less than 24 hr notice I am not able to attend hearing, there is absolutely no necessity for this or grounds for this request.

Attorney Answers 4

  1. You need to contact an attorney in the area local to the ex parte hearing IMMEDIATELY. Failure to appear could mean his request could be granted. Call now. There are many issues involved and it sounds like you may have done everything right. Don't blow it by not having an attorney there to represent you.

    Good luck!

    NOTE: This answer is made available by the lawyer for educational purposes only. By using or participating in this site you understand that there is no attorney client relationship or privilege between you and the attorney responding. Do not use this or any answer by the responding attorney as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney practicing in the area in which your question pertains with whom you have an attorney client relationship. The law frequently changes and will be different from state to state. The response provided above is general in nature, and is based solely on the facts provided in the question. Facts not included in the question may have a bearing on the response.

  2. Like the other counsel mentioned, you must handle this right away. At the very least you or your attorney must attend in order to prevent him from being granted what he is asking for.

    Having said that, ex parte requests require some sort of exigent circumstance. It is likely he would have stated some type of emergency that require a court hearing with only one day notice. This does not mean it's right or true. Just that he would have had to state something.

    What I strongly suggest is you ask an attorney to look into the matter *now*. You should be able to give him the case number and court house and someone can look at the court file to see what it is he is asking for/requesting. Then it can be opposed as needed. Best wishes.

  3. Find and retain an experienced family Law Attorney in the vicinity of the Court and deal with him immediately by phone, e-mail and FAX to enable him to appear in Court with a Faxed Declaration that he prepares, e-mails to you, and you sign and FAX back to him, to oppose the Ex Parte Application. The facts that you relate regarding Dad's lack of involvement with the children should be properly brought to the Court's attention, and may well help to defeat the Ex Parte request.

    Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on, as each situation is fact specific, and it is not possible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and court pleadings filed in the case. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship.

  4. There may have been a restriction on your moving away in the divorce judgment,. There usually is.You ought to have moved to have his rights terminated when he neither wrote nor supported them, and this is the result of just acting without legal advice. (I disagree you "did everything right". Morally maybe-- legally,.... not so much.

    Now you need AT LEAST a limited representation. Find out if you can appear by phone at a minimum.

    Good luck!

    Ms. Straus (aka Carroll) may be reached at 800-400-8978 during regular business hours, Pacific Time, or anytime by email at: All of Ms. Straus’ responses to questions posted on Avvo are intended as helpful information based upon the facts stated in the question, and are not to be relied upon as a final legal opinion. It may not be what you wished to hear, and it does not create an attorney-client relationship. Ms. Straus is licensed to practice law in California. If you would like to obtain specific legal advice about this issue, you must contact an attorney who is licensed to practice law in your state, and retain him or her. Me Straus provides “unbundled” services if you need specific assistance with a specific issue.

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