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Does a request to enter default affect my custody court order

Oxnard, CA |
Attorney answers 3


How do you have custody order without a pending case? Regardless, of course the default judgment effects your custody--if it is granted, then he will be awarded sole legal and physical custody if that is what he asked for and you chose not to respond to the lawsuit. You need to seek the advice of counsel immediately and there are often unintended consequences of not participating in the divorce. In the meantime, I am including links below which will help you educate yourself on the law. Good luck.

If you found this answer helpful, let me know by clicking the "Mark as Helpful" button or "Best Answer" at the bottom of this answer. By answering this question, the Law Offices of Cathleen E. Norton does not intend to form an attorney-client relationship with the asking party. The answers posted on this website should not be construed as legal advice. The Law Offices of Cathleen E. Norton does not make any representations about your family law matter, but rather, seeks to provide general information to the public about family-law related matters. You should consult with an attorney to discuss the specific facts of your case. Thank you.


I agree with the previous response and want to stress the importance of responding to all court documents. Not responding the a divorce petition can have custody and visitation ramifications. It is tough to give you any guidance without additional facts to ascertain the best means of obtaining resolution for your family law matters. It is important for you to speak to an attorney that can help address your concerns and create a course of action to obtain resolution in the divorce.

This response is not intended, nor should it be construed as legal advice. Any information provided is for educational purposes only. The exchange of communications through and similar social media does not establish an attorney-client relationship with me or my office. To schedule an appointment for an attorney-client privileged consultation, contact me at 909-860-0342. Thank you.


I agree with Ms. Norton.

I believe that you asked the same question multiple different ways, but here goes nothing:

It is difficult for any of the attorneys to give you a precise answer on Avvo without more facts, but it seems that you received a temporary custody order without technically having what is called an "appearance." Most likely that would mean that you had a separate domestic violence case, a separate child support case through DCSS, or some other case that was not consolidated with the dissolution (divorce) petition filed by the other party.

If you fail to respond and the other party takes your default the judge can make a permanent custody order that would trump the temporary order you most likely have. You should respond. If they have already entered your default, you should file a motion to set aside the default along with your proposed response. This is a very time sensitive issue. Most of the grounds for setting aside the default expire 6 months from when they vest. You should really consult a family law attorney to ensure your custody rights are harmed because you failed to respond.

Best of luck.

Cameron Norris, Esq. of the Law Office of Gary W. Norris can be reached at (805) 482-1170 or at This and other interactions through Avvo do not constitute an attorney-client relationship and are made for informational purposes only. No guarantees are made.

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