If I was served with complaint to establish custody papers and I am past the 20 days I had to answer what can I do now?

Asked 6 months ago - Las Vegas, NV

I have a 2 month old son I am not married to his father and we are not together. Up until a few weeks ago I was staying with him and the baby. When my son was born he had drugs in his system so CPS took him then after his father proved paternity CPS released our son to him being that he had a place of residence and I did not. The CPS case is closed now and we have no custody order as of yet but he served me with papers while I was still staying with him. To answer the complaint it will cost me $212 which I don't have and now I am past the 20 days it says I have to file. He has our son and will not let me take him even with a place to stay now unless I take home drug tests for him. I am clean and haven't shown any behavior to cause him to do this except I do not want to be with him.

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Keith Pickard


    Contributor Level 15


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . The answer is simple: file an answer. If there is an attorney on the other side, contact that attorney and let them know you intend to file an answer. If you can demonstrate you have no resources to pay for filing fees, then you can contact the Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada for help. If they can't or won't help, you can go to the Family Law Self Help Center (at the family courts at Pecos and Bonanza) and they can help you file a request to waive the fees and proceed on your own. But bottom line, you need to answer the complaint to avoid their taking a default against you. You then need to determine if you need to file a motion for temporary orders or something else. Your best option is to get an attorney to help you as this is going to be an uphill climb, even with good representation. Don't plan on doing this alone.

    Responses are for general information purposes only, and are based on the extremely limited facts given. A... more
  2. Molly S. Rosenblum

    Contributor Level 10


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You can file a petition to proceed in forma pauperis if you cannot afford the filing fee. A copy of this form can be obtained by going to the self help center at the family court. You will need to establish your income and prove to the court that you qualify to have the filing fee waived.

    If the custody complaint was filed before or during the CPS case, you could argue that the custody case was stayed until after the CPS case was closed. Since the CPS case is now closed, you need to get a move on and file your petition or file your answer. You should do this ASAP because if you don't make some kind of appearance in the custody case, dad may be able to obtain a default against you.

    You should consult an attorney - legal aid or the ask a lawyer program would be great resources for you.

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