I'm not in 100% agreement. Would it be in my best interest to ask for mediation and go into detail then rather than file a declaration with the response?
I am a little confused as to what you are responding to. A summons usually starts a dissolution, parentage, or other matter, of which custody would be a part, but it is not part of the initial response. I offer free initial consultations, as do others on this site. It may be a better idea to meet with an attorney face to face to look at the documents you have and give you an idea of what your case would require.
Since legal advice must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case, and laws are constantly changing, nothing provided herein should be used as a substitute for the advice of competent legal counsel.
I believe what you are referring to is a Petition. You do not submit declarations with your Response to a petition. Declarations are for when you are responding to a Request for Order with a hearing. You can ask the other parent directly whether he/she is interested in participating in mediation. That is entirely up to you and it is voluntary. If either parent files a Request for Order regarding custody, you will both be ordered to attend mediation prior to the hearing. The mediation services offered by the court are free and it's an excellent opportunity to try and work things out before going to the hearing. Once your matter is before a judge, you no longer have control over the outcome. Good luck.
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