I am Pro Se in a child custody case and CAN'T afford an attorney in any way, shape or form, to be clear. I filed motions for sole custody, child support, and to change the parenting plan. There is a trial date set for Feb. Prior to setting the trial date the judge ruled on a temporary placement that allows my daughter to continue in school by me (she is now in 2nd grade) and her mother sees her 3 weekends/month. This was the recommendation of the GAL. Since that time my ex had her attorney withdraw and has not shown to our last 3 hearings. We've had 2 hearings since I filed my motions, which was well over a month ago, closer to 2 (yes, she received these). Can I file for a default judgment on my motions? Is it likely the judge will throw them out since we have a trial date set?
you do not have to file for default. all you have to do is show up at the hearing. object to filing a response if she files it after the date by which the judge said she should file. at the hearing, present your case. have the gal testify as to what he or she did and the recommendation he or she has. if your ex has not filed responses timely, then ask the judge to prohibit her from testifying.
if you want, you could file a motion for judgment on the pleadings under 735 ilcs 5/2-615.
Unless the motions have been entered and continued for trial, you should set them for hearing. On your hearing date, ask for the relief sought and if your ex fails to show up for the hearing, draft your order accordingly. Although you claim you cannot afford an attorney, you might be well served by seeking some coaching advice from a seasoned family law attorney. You would be surprised how much an hour or two will benefit your knowledge and understanding and will enable you to proceed with more confidence. Small money, well spent.
Although AVVO describes this site as providing free legal advice, it is really a simple Q&A forum. The volunteer attorneys provide general answers. No specific legal advice is given here and no attorney-client relationship is established. For precise direction and legal advice, please consult in person with an attorney in your area. Be sure to bring all relevant paperwork with you.
If your husband fails to appear you can ask the judge to hold him in default and it is in the judge's discretion to grant or deny your request. The court could give your husband time to respond, or he could grant default which would mean the well-pleaded allegations in your motions are deemed as true and the Court could grant the relief you requested. You may be able to seek legal aid to help you if you can't afford an attorney, but you should always proceed with the help of an individual experienced in the law.
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