If you are one of the many families who are facing custody issues and you find that your ex has file a petition for custody or a petition to modify your current order, you should consider filing a counterclaim for custody. While it is true that you do not have to file an answer or a counterclaim in order for the court to decide a schedule, what happens if your ex suddenly withdraws their petition the day of the hearing?  If you do not have a counterclaim filed, then the Court will cancel the hearing since there will be no petition to hear. While this is fine if you do not want a change, it may not be so great if you were expecting to raise issues on why you need an order or why you want a change, this is not such good news. In order to prevent this from happening, you should always file a counterclaim on custody. That way, if your ex does decide to withdraw the petition filed, the Court will have to hear the case unless you also withdraw your petition.