What Happens If I Don’t Respond to a Petition to Establish Custody?

Reno NV not responding to a petition to establish custody

What Happens If I Don’t Respond to a Petition to Establish Custody?

A petition to establish custody officially begins the custody court process in Reno, Nevada. It is important to respond to a petition to establish custody in order to have the chance to participate in and have a say in the custody court case.

I. Follow the Deadlines

A Defendant that has been served with custody papers is highly encouraged to respond to the papers so that they can engage in the court case proceedings. A Defendant has 20 days from the time they have been served with the papers to respond to the papers and file their response through the court. When the Defendant does not respond to the custody papers within the 20-day deadline, the court is likely to rule in a way that is unfavorable to the Defendant.

II. Default Judgement

If the Defendant has failed to respond to a petition to establish custody within the given deadline, the Plaintiff has the right to request a default judgment. The Plaintiff has 21 days from the end of the Defendant’s response deadline to request this default custody decree. The default custody decree will contain the exact same requests and statements as the Plaintiff’s original petition to establish custody, meaning that the Defendant does not have the opportunity to share their own wishes on the matter. The Defendant is required to follow the court’s default judgment ruling.

III. What to Do Next

When the Defendant fails to respond to a petition to establish custody in Reno, Nevada and a default judgment have been granted, the Defendant can try to set aside the default. Setting aside the default means that the Defendant wants the judge to hear their side of the story before a final ruling is made. In order to do so, the Defendant must have a reasonable explanation for why they failed to respond to the petition to establish custody.

If you have failed to respond to being served a petition to establish custody, a creditable family law attorney can help you remedy the issue. Call Carlson & Work in Reno, Nevada today at 775-386-2226 for assistance in custody matters.


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