Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: New Brighton, MN
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Go to the court, explain that he filed whilst you were out of town on business, you hadn't been anticipating it and ask for an adjournment so you can have time to prepare. If it doesn't work, you lose nothing. If it does, well, you gain both time and a chip in his arrogance.
Our children make a study of us in a way no one else ever will. If we don't act according to our values, they will know.~Starhawk New User Agreement! http://www.mothering.com/articles/user-agreement
|A Court may not change physical custody from one parent to the other unless the change is in the best interests of the child.1
Furthermore, even if the change of custody is in the best interests of the child, the Court cannot order a change of custody unless:
a) both parties agree to the change; OR
b) the child has been integrated into the family of the non-custodial parent with the consent of the custodial parent; OR
c) the child's present environment with the custodial parent endangers the child’s physical or emotional health or impairs the child's emotional development, and the benefits of a change of custody outweigh the harm.2
Where the parties do not agree to a change of custody, and the child has not been consentingly integrated into the family of the non-custodial parent, a change of custody can only be accomplished by proving that the child is "endangered" in the current custodial environment. In practice, this means that there must be strong evidence in favor of the change of custody. Examples of such evidence are:
a child's strong desire to live with the non-custodial parent combined with at least some additional evidence
physical, sexual or emotional abuse by the custodial parent
neglect or very poor discipline in the custodial home that adversely affects a child's grades or behavior, etc.
In practice, it would be the rare case where custody is modified contrary to the child's preference, at least for older children. In Minnesota, there is no particular age at which a child gets to decide which parent he wants to live with. Generally, the older the child, the more weight the child's preference carries, whether in the initial custody determination or in the context of a motion to modify custody.3 Still, the child's preference alone is an insufficient basis for modification of custody.4 There must be a showing of endangerment, at least on an emotional level, in order to modify custody.5 The child's preference is an important factor and often a sine qua non of a showing of endangerment.
Okay I just re-read your responses. Did your ex file a complaint and you have 4 days to answer or 4 days before mediation. If you have four days to answer then you should have your lawyer file for an extension which is pretty simple and if you can't get ahold of your lawyer in that time period you should be able to go to the courthouse and do it pretty easily yourself. Good Luck
I can't believe that this man is that far behind on CS in MN! DH was *not* behind, but since the county was not taking it out of his paycheck (he writes DSD's mom a check each month), they nearly started garnishing his wages when DSD's mom applied for MN Care last fall. It took a ridiculous amount of effort to stop them.
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