I would like to know if I can file for sole custody of my son without a lawyer on grounds of abandonment. I do not

Expert's Assistant chat
Customer: I would like to know if I can file for sole custody of my son without a lawyer on grounds of abandonment. I do not qualify for legal aid, but can't afford a lawyer
JA: Who currently has legal custody?
Customer: There is no custody agreement in place, my son has always lived with me 100% of the time, his father left August 2019
JA: Is there a child custody order in place?
Customer: no
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: My sn has had no contact with his father since he left in August 2019, I have no idea where he is living and have no way to contact him, the last time he sent me a message online was sept 2020, he has not responded to any attempts to contact him via facebook since
Answered by JosephE322 in 5 mins 8 months ago
imglogo
JosephE322
10+ years of experience
logo

9852 Satisfied customers

Expert in: Family Law, Legal, Estate Law, Real Estate Law, Criminal Law, Employment Law, Business Law, Consumer Protection Law, Bankruptcy Law, Traffic Law, Personal Injury Law.

logoBack
logologo
JosephE322
logo
logo
9852 Satisfied customers
logo
10+ years of experience
imglogo
JosephE322
10+ years of experience
logo

9852 Satisfied customers

Jessica

Jessica

Consultant

31,131 Satisfied customers

Pearl avatar
Lawyer's, Assistant
116 Lawyers are online right now.
img

JosephE322, Expert

Hi and thank you for using JustAnswer. My name is ***** ***** I will be assisting you with your question.

I am licensed Canadian lawyer, and this conversation is for informational purposes only. I kindly ask for your patience as some questions take longer to answer and I may have to do legal research. I may be away from my desk from time to time, but rest assured I will always return back as soon as possible. If at any point during our conversation you don’t understand something, please let me know so I can clarify.

Which province are you located in?

Customer
Ontario
img

JosephE322, Expert

Good afternoon – sorry to hear about the situation. You could apply for sole custody but you would need to serve the father with your application. If you cannot find him, you would need to hire a private investigator to find him. If he cannot be found, you would need to ask the court to “dispense with service” meaning they will rule you need not serve him.

Does that help answer your question today or did you have any follow up questions?

Customer
I have to hire someone to try to find him?
img

JosephE322, Expert

You need to take all reasonable steps to convince the court that he cannot be found.

img

JosephE322, Expert

Assuming he has a traditional job and lives in Ontario, this shouldn't take more than a few hours to find him.

Customer
As far as I know, he doesn't work, and I don't even know what city he is living in. He is not active on social media, and his family has had no contact with him either. I suppose if he is working he could be found, but what if he doesn't work or have a cellphone?
img

JosephE322, Expert

You'll have to convince the court that you took all reasonable steps to find him before they will excuse service.

Customer
OK, that is what I was afraid of, it is going to be expensive to try to find someone who knows how to hide off the grid. If I hire someone who cant find him in an online search, is that enough? How much do I have to look for him?
img

JosephE322, Expert

He needs to be personally served with this. That would mean going to his last address, checking public records, contacting persons who might know where he lives  etc.   It's relatively straightforward for a private investigator to locate someone in Ontario given the technology now available.

img

JosephE322, Expert

Did you have any additional questions about this issue?

Customer
No that's all
img

JosephE322, Expert

Thank you for using JustAnswer. I wish you the best of luck. If you have any follow up questions about this matter, please do not hesitate to reach out to me.

Ask a lawyer and get your legal questions answered.
See all Legal Questions
img
Related Legal Questions
How it works
logoAsk for help, 24/7
Ask for help, 24/7
Members enjoy round-the-clock access to 12,000+ verified Experts, including doctors, lawyers, tech support, mechanics, vets, home repair pros, more.
logoExpert will respond in minutes
Expert will respond in minutes
After you reach out, we match you with an Expert who specializes in your situation. Talk, text, chat, whichever you prefer.
logoSave time & money
Save time & money
No scheduling hassles, missing time from work, or expensive consults.
A JustAnswer membership can save you significant time and money each month.
img
logo 593 Verified lawyers, 10+ years of experience
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on Askalawyeroncall.com are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. Askalawyeroncall.com is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response as proposing specific action or addressing your specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances should be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on any information received from an Expert, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains. The responses above are from independent, freelance Experts, who are not employed by Askalawyeroncall.com . The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credentials of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service.
Explore law categories
Powered by JustAnswer