How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Seattle Scott Your Own Question
Seattle Scott
Seattle Scott, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 961
Experience:  I have 25 years experience as a Washington State Family Law Attorney.
Type Your Family Law Question Here...
Seattle Scott is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

If you have a custody agreement with the father of your

Customer Question

If you have a custody agreement with the father of your child and it's joint custody that you both agreed on with the mediator, and you just got papers in the mail from the father who filed for full custody in May why did it take so long for me to get the paperwork?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Seattle Scott replied 1 year ago.

When someone files a modification petition, or any petition for that matter, there is usually no requirement that the petition has to be served/mailed right away. But the court can't take any action on the petition until it is served/mailed.

Are you just curious as to the timing, or do you want to know how this affects the mediated custody agreement? Was the mediated agreement before May or recently?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The agreement was before May and I want to you if he filed in May why did I just receive them yesterday? And the hearing is December 1st mind you and yes I would also like to know how it will affect everything
Expert:  Seattle Scott replied 1 year ago.

Is there any way the father could say he didn't know where you were living since May?

How hard would it be for you to go to the court house and look at the court file?

Who mailed you the papers, the father or the court? and is there an attorney for the father disclosed in the papers?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He did know where I lived/live since he picks up and drops off our child.. And he mailed the papers from my understanding. Also he was constantly threatening me he was going to file for full custody because I work full time and he is unemployed and he would say he should have full custody because he doesn't work and he can be with the baby more since I am by myself and a single parent and have to work full time
Expert:  Seattle Scott replied 1 year ago.

My guess it that he does not have a lawyer and does not know what he is doing legally. That the "mailed" notice is not valid. Was it certified mail and what exactly did you receive, as in a summons, other notices etc?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Wait I'm sorry yes It was certified because my mother who I live with had to sign for it. I'm currently working and just found out about this an hour ago. I have not physically seen the paperwork and the info I have is from what my mother and sister told me. And the father does have a lawyer. It's very complicated, my ex wants to play the role of a "stay at home Mom" not work and just raise our child. Like I said before I don't have the luxury to be at home full time since I work. My question now is since I work full time and we do have joint custody as of now .. Can he legally get full custody since I choose to work full time to support my child and I ?
Expert:  Seattle Scott replied 1 year ago.

I stand corrected. Pennsylvania allows for service my mail in custody matters, but it must be certified mail and also regular mail and is supposed to be accomplished within 30 days of filing the modification petition. Looks like Pennsylvania has a "conference" type first hearing where a court facilitator lawyer acts as a mediator to see if agreement can be reached, which is probably the same process you went through to get the current joint custody order.

Anyway, due to the late service, you can probably get the December hearing cancelled and rescheduled.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok but would he get full custody since I work full time and he doesn't?
Expert:  Seattle Scott replied 1 year ago.

If nothing has changed on your end since the present custody order was agreed, father is not going to win on his full custody petition. It is not in the best interests of the child of divorced parents for one parent to be "stay at home" there is not enough money to support such a lifestyle. For him to get full custody, there would have to be something wrong with you, unfit parent, not just that you work full time.

Expert:  Seattle Scott replied 1 year ago.

Once you have reviewed the papers, let me know if you have any more questions - it can be tomorrow, I will still get your questions.