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Can one parent file for custody without the other parent knowing.

Huntington Beach, CA |

Our grandson was told by his mother that grandson's girl friend (who he has not seen or spoken to since New Years because she doesn't respond to any communication) is filing for custody of their child. Will grandson be notified if girl friend files for custody of their child? Where does grandson go or look to find out if she has filed for custody? Thank you so much!

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Attorney answers 2


If your grandson has not spoken to his ex girlfriend (the Mother of his child) since New Year's, it seems he has more problems than just worrying about whether she has filed for custody. She can file without his knowledge in the county where she lives, and yes, he would have to be served with the papers, unless she lies (people do that sometimes in family court---I know...shocking!) and says that she doesn't know where he is. The best thing that he can do is work on keeping a relationship with the child. That can be accomplished either by working directly with Mom to co-parent (the best but often very difficult option), or fiing a paternity action himself to assert some rights on this issue. Either choice involves action on his part, which I suggest he engage in.

Good luck!


Yes, of course she can file for custody. However, she must also serve your grandson personally so that he has "Notice" of any court proceeding. Go to the court's website and look up the case under either one of the parent's name.

However, if she files a Paternity action, you will not find that on the website. Your grandson will need to go to the family court in Orange and to the 7th floor to inquire as to whether a case has been filed.

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