Take the petition and seek an attorney's counsel on the matter. While you could respond and do it yourself, it's always best to get an attorney to help you when it comes to children.
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A petition is a request by the party for the court to do something. Every case is different even though the issues may appear the same (child support, visitation, custody, etc.) Your family situation is not the same as your neighbors and so it is always beneficial to at least consult a family law attorney regarding your next step. This is especially true if the other side is represented by an attorney.
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Next step. Call local family law attorneys. They'll speak with you initially for free and you can discuss the specifics of your case.
BEST ANSWER I got....and I hope I was HELPFUL! My answers do not establish an attorney/client relationship. Contact Steve Hamer at (214) 843-1529 for a FREE CONSULTATION.
You need to answer first, other wise a default will be taken. You need to troubleshoot the facts to see what they want and then how best to fight or swing a deal
As others have said, you need to do "something" to answer this modification petition, or else you risk having the other side get a default judgment. "Something" may be just sending a letter to the court, AND the attorney on the other side, saying you do not agree with what the petition requests.
Most of the time, if the issue is child support, well, that's a numbers game. If you're making significantly more now than when the original decree/order was put in place, the custodial parent has the right to seek an increase. Child support issues, for the most part, are not all the complicated.
If the petition seeks to change custody, or change the terms of possession and access (visitation), or to remove a geographic restriction, you likely need to contact/hire an attorney as these issues can be pretty complicated.
But the first thing is to not let the other side get a default.