I have primary custody of our 2 children and have for about 10 years.Over a year ago, I was served w/Petition to Modify Custody due to my prescription drug use. I have had 7 highly invasive surgeries in the past 5 years. He is basing the material change as "prescription pain addiction" and "best interests of the children". I was served and responded and I never heard another thing.I do take medicine for pain that is prescribed by my dr, but I am not addicted.At 1st my ex was telling me that I was going to get drug tested,I highly worried I have not received anything from his Atty since the original petition.If anyone thought that I was a danger/threat to my kids, they would not let an entire year pass.It is still in the back of my mind, but I have stopped the worry. Do Petitiions expire?
Do I need to try and Dismiss this? Or should I just do nothing, since no one else is?
Family Law Attorney
Petitions do not "expire." Just the opposite - if you fail to reply in the time allotted (usually 30 days, but check with an attorney who practices in your state), then you may lose the case automatically. You must not ignore this. You need to consult with an attorney in your area, and file a Response. However good your argument may be, if you don't file the response, you'll never get to make it.
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Mr. Bodzin is correct that petitions don't "expire." You need to hire an attorney to defend you against his petition as soon as possible. An attorney can review the court file and determine what steps need to be taken to successfully defend you in this case. If you have already filed an answer, and the other side has simply failed to prosecute the case for an entire year, then it may be possible to file a motion to dismiss the petition based upon your ex's failure to prosecute his petition. Nonetheless, defending against this petition is something that you should not attempt to do on your own. Hire an attorney immediately!
While I am not a TN lawyer, the others are correct. Petitions don't expire. But this is much too serious to be trusting to answers from lawyers who don't have the entire story. You need to retain local counsel who can assist you in defending against this action. If you can't afford counsel, you should see if there is a Legal Aid office in your area that can assist.