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My daughter is 19 and she has a daughter who is almost 2. My

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daughter has had a some...
My daughter is 19 and she has a daughter who is almost 2. My daughter has had a some legal and mental health issues over the past year. During this time my granddaughter has lived with her father and his family.
Last week my daughter was served with papers, "Petition to Adjudicate Parentage." Since there is no question that he is the father, and based on what else the papers say, I understand this to be a petition to allow him full legal custody and to begin charging her for child support. It also says some things that are wrong, such as that my daughter is currently incarcerated. She is not. We have until July 19 to file an "answer" to the petition.
My daughter says she has spoken to a lawyer however neither of us have that kind of money at the moment. She has been working to improve herself and I would hate for her to lose her daughter at this time because we failed to answer the petition.
How do we file the answer ourselves? And what is it exactly? I have searched a lot online and all I can find are forms for when it is a father's response to an attempt to establish or deny paternity. Neither he or she denies paternity. We just want to make an answer about the custody and child support. And I don't even know what that answer would be.
Submitted: 1 year ago.Category: Family Law
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7/10/2016
Family Lawyer: Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer replied 1 year ago
Law Educator, Esq.
Category: Family Law
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The response will have to be drafted from scratch and not a form I am afraid. To answer this suit yourself if you cannot find an attorney, you need to copy the heading on the Complaint (court name/case name/case number). Title it "Answer." Then you need to state you are the respondent, your name, and that you are appearing to represent yourself and answering the petition. Then you number every response to correspond with the numbers on the petition. You then answer each one with "Admit" "Deny" or "Insufficient information to find a reasonable belief as to the truth of the matter asserted and leave petitioner to her proof thereof." Once you have answered each numbered paragraph then you can put "Defenses" and list any defenses you have to her petition. Then if you have any counterclaims to make, you can make them after your defenses under the title Counterclaim and to do that you would copy the same layout that the initial petition you received has and just change each numbered paragraph to reflect your facts and allegations.
Once you complete that you sign the response, you have it notarized. Under that put "Certificate of Service" and put the name/address of her attorney where you will be mailing a copy and the date you mail it and sign that.
Then file the original and one copy with the clerk of court and ask the clerk to stamp one copy to give back to you as proof of service. Mail one copy to the other party's attorney.
However, before you do this, she should go to the local legal aid office and also call the state bar to see if she can get a low cost or pro bono attorney in your area to represent her in this matter.
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