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How do I get custody back of my child?

Rockford, IL |

I am divorced now 6 yrs. I have had full physical custody of all our kids, now only 1 minor left. I was unemployed in il for almost a year when I came to fl to try to find work, with a verbal agreement between me and my ex that he would keep her in il with him for the remainder of the school year so she would not switch schools during the year. I just found out within one week of me leaving he went in front of a judge and was given temp full custody. How did this happen without me even being notified, and how do I get custody back? I do not have alot of money to obtain a lawyer and I no he did not have one to do this either. Where do I begin to get the court records and get my daughter back into my custody?

I found out through the unemployment office, my dependency changed and when I called they told me they have court papers showing her dad has custody of her. I talked to a women in the circuit court and she told me she has no idea what he could have told the judge that would make him do that without notifying me. I have not been served or refused any type of papers. I knew nothing of this. He did it on Jan 15th or 16th and I just found out about it 2 weeks ago. Do you know who I would call or what I can do to get a copy of the court records? Then where do I start with trying to get custody back?

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Attorney answers 2


Without a casefile, it's hard to tell what happened. It seems like he filed an emergency petition, the question is SPECIFICALLY how did you find out about it. Where you served with a certified mail order or petition? Did you refuse service, if so that may have sealed the deal (Some people refuse these for fear they are lawsuits, and don't realize that refusing them doesn't do anything to stop the suit in question).

If an ex parte emergency order was granted, you are given time to get a full hearing on the issue (due process requirement). This means going to court and allowing the court to determine what's really going on.

In addition, I encourage you to watch my the video's on my profile page, specifically my "Custody Modification 101" video.

Best of luck & hope this helps.


Oh wow, he probably served papers at your last known Illinois address knowing you wouldn't find out about it. There may be a way to get it corrected (depending what exactly happened), but it would require you to travel back up to Illinois to do it - which by the sounds of it may not be something your able to do at the moment.

Since the order was entered there, and your ex & child reside there, then it must be filed there.