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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 102584
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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I had a child custody case decided in CA. It has been

Customer Question

I had a child custody case decided in CA. It has been completed and closed. I have lived in Texas since May 2014. A few days ago I was served in TX by mail from CA and am being sued for approximately $5,000. The other party and her attorney are claiming that the court failed to set the amount that I owed as my share of some child expenses. They are asking the court to grant the amount. The amount is incorrect to begin with but furthermore, I'm not sure what action to take. The children now reside in CA with the mother. Custody was changed. Can they serve me out of state on this? What should I do?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note:This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms.

I am sorry to hear about this situation. Can you please tell me:

1) Is this a lawsuit in civil or family court?

2) What is the name of the pleading you received? Is there any way you can upload it?

3) You state that the custody has changed. Is this reflected in the formal custody orders, or is the custody change informal?

This is not an answer, but an information request. I need this information to answer your question. Please reply, so I can answer your question. Thank you in advance.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
1. Family
2. Request for Order, Other - Accounting of Arrears, Expenses. I can upload it but can you be more specific on what exactly to upload, what I should blank out and who would be able to see it?
3. Formal and the case was closed.
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.

I would like the actual petition uploaded, meaning the motion/petition that may look something like THIS.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
1. Re the phone call - is the $52 in addition to the $47 or just the $52?
2. If I upload it, will it be shared publicly? Should i black out names, etc?
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.


1) The phone call is an additional automatic offer. I did not send it; the site did. I believe it is extra, correct. NOTE that I opt out of phone calls so it is another expert that will call, however, they will have this thread and any attachment with it to build on their answer so do not worry about restating everything.

2) The upload is not publicly viewable. However if you want to feel extra secure, you can redact names/dates/private information at your discretion. No worries.

Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.

Thank you.

See page 4 of 4. It basically explains what she is seeking. She is seeking an amount for what she claims to be debt by you from the division of miscellaneous expenses, that someone in your situation allegedly has not paid.

Someone in your situation may wish to file an answer. In fact, this is recommended to avoid default.

The fact that the custody was changed since then does not matter, provided that the alleged debt comes from the time before the custody was modified to have the child live with the grandparent.

If someone in your situation cannot make the court hearing, one may wish to ask the Court to allow them to appear via telephone/video. This is at the discretion of the Court.

If you choose to do this, then someone in your situation would file said hearing plenty ahead of time, serve the other party, and ask the clerk if the Judge would consider this motion in camera (without a hearing), or would the Judge need to have a quick hearing on the matter (ironic, I know). Most Judges will consider a Motion for Telephonic Hearing in camera.

Sample motion:


COMES NOW (name), Respondent/Petitioner and Movant herein, and files this, and brings this Motion for Telephonic Hearing for the hearing on (motion's name that is set to be heard):

1. Said motion is set for hearing on ___________
2. Movant/Movant's witnesses is/are unlikely to be able to present at the hearing in person due to: (reason)

3. Movant would be able to be present via telephone on the date and time of the hearing.
4. The Court has inherent power to grant said request.

WHEREFORE, PREMISES CONSIDERED, Respondent, Movant herein, requests this Court to grant this Motion for Telephonic Hearing and that the Court allow (name) to appear via telephone on (date), and for such other and further relief that may be awarded at law or in equity.




[certificate of service]

(New page - proposed order)


On , the Court considered Movant’s Motion for Telephonic Hearing, and after reviewing the evidence and hearing the arguments, the Court finds that the Motion should be


SIGNED on , 2015


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