Petitions do not "expire." Just the opposite - if you fail to reply in the time allotted (usually 30 days, but check with an attorney who practices in your state), then you may lose the case automatically. You must not ignore this. You need to consult with an attorney in your area, and file a Response. However good your argument may be, if you don't file the response, you'll never get to make it.
Please read the following notice: <br> <br> Jay Bodzin is licensed to practice law in the State of Oregon and the Federal District of Oregon, and cannot give advice about the laws of other jurisdictions. All comments on this site are intended for informational purposes only, and do not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. No posts or comments on this site are in any way confidential. Each case is unique. You are advised to have counsel at all stages of any legal proceeding, and to speak with your own lawyer in private to get advice about your specific situation. <br> <br> Jay Bodzin, Northwest Law Office, 2075 SW First Avenue, Suite 2J, Portland, OR 97201 | Telephone: 503-227-0965 | Facsimile: 503-345-0926 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Online: www.northwestlawoffice.com
Mr. Bodzin is correct that petitions don't "expire." You need to hire an attorney to defend you against his petition as soon as possible. An attorney can review the court file and determine what steps need to be taken to successfully defend you in this case. If you have already filed an answer, and the other side has simply failed to prosecute the case for an entire year, then it may be possible to file a motion to dismiss the petition based upon your ex's failure to prosecute his petition. Nonetheless, defending against this petition is something that you should not attempt to do on your own. Hire an attorney immediately!
While I am not a TN lawyer, the others are correct. Petitions don't expire. But this is much too serious to be trusting to answers from lawyers who don't have the entire story. You need to retain local counsel who can assist you in defending against this action. If you can't afford counsel, you should see if there is a Legal Aid office in your area that can assist.
Sign up to receive a 3-part series of useful information and advice about child custody law.