Can someone explain what a default judgment is in an custody case?
I have already been proving the father, current w/ court obligations and visitation. There is a lack of communication with my child right now b/c I have to go thru the cell phones of the mother and her live-in boyfriend. I do not believe mother will respond or show up at first hearing. What will happen at first hearing if this takes place?
3 attorney answers
I agree with both of my colleagues' excellent answers.
This information is intended as general information only. This communication does not establish an attorney-client relationship between me and the asker.
Attorney Tamms is correct. You would do well to be represented by an attorney and the Court will generally not grant a "default judgment" in a custody case. However, what the Court will do, provided the other side was clearly served and has not sought a continuance, is to conduct the hearing on the scheduled hearing date. That is why you should have an attorney on board - they will make certain all the relevant evidence is presented to the Court at the hearing. If she is not present, then the Court will only hear your side of the case. When a decision is made, it actually is better than a "default judgment" as there are special provisions for re-opening such cases whereas a completed hearing will not be easliy overturned.
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A default judgment is basically a judgment in your favor when the other party does not show up or does not otherwise do what is required of them in the context of litigation. Default judgments are not always granted in custody cases especially when Courts have a mandate to do what is in the best interest of the child. Make sure you show up to every hearing and bring to the court's attention the other party's absence. I would recommend you retain an attorney. Even in default situation, an attorney can help guide you through the process and make sure the correct documents are filed with the court.
This answer is provided for general purposes only. If you need legal assistance you should consult with an attorney. Responding to questions DOES NOT create an attorney-client relationship.
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