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What happens if the father(respondent) doesn't show up for the first custody hearing?

Fort Payne, AL |

My daughter is 2 yrs old. Her father and I were never married..he's on the birth cert. and she has his last name. Last Oct when she was 16 mos old we ended our relationship. She has always lived with me. She's never spent any time with him outside of my home or with my family around. For 6 wks he would call text maybe see her once a week. Then on Dec 2 he came by to visit for 45 mins and started saying he wanted to see her 3 times a week and he had rights and he would just take her. After that we never heard from him but 1 text in a month. In January he said he wanted to see her but would never set it up. On Feb 6 we heard from him the last time, until he showed up in June to give her b'day gifts. Now it's Oct and nothing again. We are set for hearing Nov 19.

I filed the custody action. I just have reason to believe he won't show up. I know he got the notice. His grandmother had notified me to let me know they got it and she made sure he had it. When I filed my petition it said sole custody for me and that he hadn't contacted in 30 days and also filed for child support. So if he doesn't show up and a default judgement is entered, how does that work? Will it be for exactly what was in the petition or how will the judge determine the judgement? Wasn't sure how that works.

Attorney Answers 1


  1. Who filed the custody action? If you filed it, he has been properly served, and he does now show up, the court could enter what is called a default judgment in your favor. If he filed the action and does not show up to prosecute the action, the court may dismiss his case.

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