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Category: Family Law
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Experience:  9 + years of handling Family Law, Divorce, Child Custody and Child Support cases
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In Massachussetts, I received a summons. My time girlfriend

Customer Question

In Massachussetts, I received a summons for custody. My long time girlfriend decided to leave after 5 years together. She is threatening to take our daughter. She filed a complaint on Friday. I was planning to do the same. Should I just answer the complaint and not file a compliant myself or should I also file a complaint? What is the best strategy here? Will the court frown on me for not filing a complaint?
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  FamilyAnswer replied 3 months ago.

Good afternoon. I certainly understand the situation and your concern. You can file an answer and counter-claim, seeking custody of the child as well. When parents are unwed, paternity must first be established, prior to you being able to have standing to proceed and ask the court to award you custody of the child. Once that is done, the Judge will decide based upon the best interest of the child. It is possible that custody will be awarded to one party or that it would be shared but you have a legal right as the father to try and seek custody of your daughter. As such, you can answer the complaint and respond and as I shared above, will want and need to show that awarding you sole or shared custody, is in her best interest. The clerk of court in the family division, should have any forms you need for your response also.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Isnt paternity already established if I am on the birth certificate?
Expert:  FamilyAnswer replied 3 months ago.

There would be a presumption if she added you on it.

Expert:  FamilyAnswer replied 3 months ago.

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