If you are not served can the courts start a trial for child custody?

UPDATED: Aug 21, 2012

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If you are not served can the courts start a trial for child custody?

my ex has no custody of my two girls. I have full custody. We lost the girls 8 years ag due to domestic violence. I did all the courts asked and received full custody back. He did nothing and the courts told me to keep them away from him. He has never paid child support ever. They are coming down hard on him for the child support so he decided to go for custody. He had me served at address he knows I don’t live. On the docket it says I wasn’t served however, they gave him a trial. Can they proceed with a trial if I was never served?

Asked on August 21, 2012 under Family Law, California


Cameron Norris, Esq. / Law Office of Gary W. Norris

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You or an attorney on your behalf can make a "special appearance" to quash personal jurisdiction.  If you sit back and let the trial commence and had knowledge of the proceedings, you can lose your rights even though you weren't properly served.  If the proceedings are in your county, get a lawyer and have at it.  If the proceedings are elsewhere, then get a lawyer and attempt to get a change of venue closer to you.

Either way lawyer up.

Best of luck.

If you are in the Ventura County area, feel free to contact me.


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