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What happens is the respondent doesn't turn up at Family court proceedings?

Usk, WA |

My husband is taking his ex back to court for an enforvement order (as she keeps breaking the current one) and a specific issue order to prevent her from changing the boys school. She has had involvement with social services due to her emotional abuse of the children and we are concerned that their only security is school (we want the chidren to feel secure with us but as she breaks the order regularly they never know when they will see us). We filed for court 1 week ago and got a date for 14 days later, to prevent a move during the summer holidays which she has idicated she is doing, we have served the papers to her but what happens if she doesnt turn up and avoidsthe court until the move is complete?

Attorney Answers 3


  1. If you have served her properly and have filed proof of the service with the court and she does not show up at court, the court will enter a default order which will provide for the relief you requested in your petition.

    If the order prevents her from moving and she ignores it, you will need to consult with the sheriff regarding a writ of habeus corpus allowing the sheriff to go get the kids. This is VERY traumatic for the children; if you are not there when they are picked up, they will go to foster care. Don't let that happen.

    Elizabeth Powell

    Using Avvo does not form an attorney client relationship.


  2. Also be prepared that she may show up and ask for more time so she can get an attorney and the matter will be continued.


  3. If the court at the hearing orders that she shall not relocate the children's residence, she can be ordered to return them to WA if she moves anyway. If she violates that, you could ask the court to change custody, at least temporarily. Much will depend on the specific facts.

    With this kind of history and behavior, you need an experienced local family law attorney.

    If this answer is helpful or the best answer, please say so. Legal disclaimer: In accordance with the Avvo community guidelines, this communication does not constitute "legal advice", nor does it form an attorney-client relationship. No information disclosed in these questions and opinions will prohibit this lawyer from representing a different client in the matter.

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