Yes, sometimes the courts will issue a temporary emergency custody order. Of course, the court must determine it’s warranted and in the child’s best interests. It’s done by contacting the court that has local jurisdiction. This is often the court in the county where the child lives.
Reasons to File a Temporary Emergency Custody Order
It’s important to understand that the key factor in this type of order is that it’s a true emergency. It can’t be that one parent just prefers to have custody or thinks the other one isn’t doing a good enough job. In general, an emergency is one in which the child’s safety is at risk.
A common reason to seek an emergency temporary custody order is when a child is the victim of neglect or abuse. Accusing a parent of this is a serious matter and should only occur when there are valid concerns.
Another reason to file for an emergency child custody order is when a parent takes a child out of state without the other parent’s permission. Of course, the basis for parental abduction isn’t just the act of taking the child to another state. It is a crime if the parent does so when he/she doesn’t have custody or it’s a violation of a custody order.
It’s important to note that emergency temporary custody orders are sometimes pursued by adults other than the parents. This might be the case, for example, when the parents or guardians die in a car crash or the only living parent becomes incapacitated.
How to File an Emergency Temporary Custody Order
It’s a good idea to first secure legal representation if seeking an emergency order, this will ensure that you are:
- going about the process correctly;
- avoiding any unnecessary problems; and
- skipping delays.
An attorney can get the proper paperwork to you. It’s also important to include any supporting documentation pertaining to the reason for seeking the emergency custody order. Let’s say it’s a situation where the child has suffered abuse at the hands of the other parent. A doctor may provide medical records that shows bruising, broken bones or other marks that suggest physical abuse.
It’s going to be up to the parent filing for emergency custody to prove it’s warranted. Legal counsel can help gather evidence to show the child’s safety is at risk.
After filing the appropriate paperwork and forms, the court will schedule a hearing. These can take a few weeks. But if it’s an emergency situation, it may be much, much quicker.
A judge will review the facts presented and give an immediate ruling on whether to issue the temporary custody order. Later, the case will proceed and the court may consider whether to issue a permanent custody order or to lift the temporary order.
Child custody cases, especially those involving emergency orders, can become complicated and challenging. Navigating the process without proper legal representation is ill advised. Don’t delay seeking counsel from an attorney at Warren & Migliaccio if you’re in the Dallas area. Call 888-584-9614 to set up a consultation with an attorney.