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 FamilyAnswer Your Own Question
FamilyAnswer, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 28371
Experience:  10 + years of handling Family Law, Divorce, Child Custody and Child Support cases
Type Your Family Law Question Here...
FamilyAnswer is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

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: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  FamilyAnswer replied 1 year 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 1 year ago.
Isnt paternity already established if I am on the birth certificate?
Expert:  FamilyAnswer replied 1 year ago.

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

Expert:  FamilyAnswer replied 1 year ago.

Please let me know if you have any follow up questions or need any clarification on something which I stated above. Also, remember to rate my service at the top of this page, before exiting the site, so I can receive credit for my help. I hope you found it to be Excellent! Only rate my answer when you are 100% satisfied. If you feel the need to click either of the two lower ratings to the left, please stop and reply to me. I want to make sure your experience with the site was as pleasurable as possible and that you are satisfied with the help I provided.