Question asked on April 3, 2021

Q: We were never married and I am father and plaintiff. We don’t have a previous order or agreement. We have been splitting time with me keeping my son 4 days and her 3 days. I filed custody complaint for joint legal and physical custody. She filed a counterclaim and answer but failed to serve me with that counterclaim. At our upcoming court date can I request that the judge order a default judgement for me because I was not served at all?

A: You can raise lack of service, but a counterclaim does not normally have to be personally served.  Was it mailed to you?  Even if not, “default judgment” is not usually the outcome for service problems; if anything, it tends to result in an extended time to respond.  As a general matter, you should probably seek to address the merits, and not rely on procedural “gotchas,” especially for child custody, as to which the Nevada Supreme Court has ordered that every decision must be based on the merits and not a procedural deficiency such as a discovery sanction.