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What happens when the defendant does not file an answer in the allotted 30 days for complaint for custody?

Millersville, MD |
Attorney answers 3


Important disclaimer: I'm not licensed to practice in Maryland, only in Oregon. So I can't give advice about Maryland law. You should consult with a local attorney.

That said, in general, if a respondent doesn't respond within the allotted time, you can go back to the Court and file a motion for a 'default judgment.' You can get everything you asked for in the initial petition (but no more). In this case, you'd probably have to explain what was meant by 'reasonable visitation', and why a specific visitation schedule was 'reasonable.'

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If no answer has been filed, you can file a motion requesting that an order of default be issued against that person. There are fill-in the blank forms on the Maryland Judiciary website that you can use or go to the courthouse where you filed the papers and they have the forms there too. If no answer is ever filed, then you will get a hearing and you should be prepared to present evidence on all the points raised in your original filing. Good luck.


A default may be entered. You should consult a local attorney so he or she can give you a complete legal analysis of your situation.

JMP Law, P.A.
Juna M. Pulayya


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