Are you wondering how to get emergency custody of your child?
In this article, we’re talking about:
- reasons you can get emergency custody orders
- how to file for emergency custody
- temporary emergency custody orders
- how to prepare for your emergency custody hearing
- what to expect at your emergency custody hearings
Let’s dig in.
Table of Contents
- How To Get Emergency Custody Now
- How To Get An Emergency Custody Order
- Things You’ll Want To Know About Emergency Child Custody
- How to Make Emergency Custody Hearings Easy
- How To Save Your Child From Danger
How To Get Emergency Custody Now
Emergency custody hearings get held to discuss issues that put the child at risk.
When you file for emergency custody, judges will hold the hearing almost immediately.
They want to make sure the child is safe and will provide you with temporary custody orders.
These temporary custody orders go into effect until the judge can provide a final custody order.
How To Get An Emergency Custody Order
Here’s what to do to get an emergency custody order.
- get evidence of the danger that your child is in
- give that proof to your family law attorney
- fill out the petition for emergency custody with your attorney
- have your attorney file the emergency custody order
- show up to court with your attorney for your emergency custody hearing
After you have done this, the judge usually holds the emergency custody hearing within 24 hours.
After reviewing the evidence, they will provide you with a temporary emergency custody order.
How to Get An Emergency Petition for Custody
You can get an emergency petition for custody from your family law attorney.
They will be able to package the petition for you so that you can file for emergency custody.
They will walk you through:
- whether your evidence is substantial enough
- what evidence you need if it’s not
- whether you have grounds for an emergency custody hearing
- how to fill out the petition for emergency custody
They will file the emergency petition for custody for you.
They will set up the emergency custody hearing for you as well.
When you go in front of the judge, they will guide you through the emergency custody hearing.
Let’s talk about how to file for emergency custody.
Related: Grounds for Full Custody of Child
How To File For Emergency Custody
To file for emergency custody, you’ll want to:
- get the petition for emergency custody from your family law attorney
- fill out the emergency petition for custody
- include the urgent issue with your emergency custody petition
- give your emergency petition for custody to your attorney
Your family law attorney will file for emergency custody for you.
When your family law attorney files for emergency custody, you will most likely need to be with them.
You will have an emergency custody hearing within 24 hours of filing the petition.
Things You’ll Want To Know About Emergency Child Custody
These next section is the main overview for emergency child custody.
We’re talking about:
- reasons for emergency custody
- do you need emergency custody orders to take your child
- do the emergency custody orders become permanent
Top 5 Reasons for Emergency Custody
The main reasons for emergency custody are child abuse, parental kidnapping, neglect, substance abuse, and sex offenders.
1. Child Abuse
Child abuse is the number one reason for emergency custody orders.
There are two types of abuse to consider:
- physical child abuse
- emotional child abuse
Physical child abuse results in:
- broken bones
- head injuries
While much more difficult to prove, emotional abuse is another reason for emergency custody.
Emotional child abuse leads to:
- delayed emotional development
- self-destructive activities
- developmental regression
2. Parental Kidnapping
A parent doesn’t have to actually commit parental kidnapping to lose custody.
If a parent threatens to kidnap a child, this is one of the reasons a judge will change custody.
3. Child Neglect
If a child’s basic needs are not being met, the judge will grant emergency custody.
Child neglect comes in the form of:
- constantly dirty or severe body odor
- begs for or steals food
- lacks needed medical or dental care
- frequently missing school
- frequently left home alone
Child neglect does not HAVE to indicate that a child is harmed.
It just means that a child’s basic needs are not being met by one parent.
4. Substance Abuse
If a parent is abusing drugs or alcohol, the judge may issue emergency custody orders.
They will make the parent attend programs to get off the substances like:
- Alcoholic’s Anonymous
- Narcotics Anonymous
- a rehabilitation center
Once the programs have been completed, the parent will have to provide proof that they are off drugs and alcohol.
They will have to provide the proper documents from the program.
But they will also be subject to drug and alcohol testing.
5. Sex Offenders
If the parent gets charged with sexual offenses, they will most likely lose custody.
But, emergency custody orders can happen if a sexual offender is living with the child too.
Do I Need An Emergency Temporary Custody?
If your child is at risk or in danger, you need an emergency custody order.
This is true even if the danger or risk is very apparent.
You cannot just take you child away from the other parent.
This would be considered parental kidnapping.
This will not work in your favor when you are trying to get emergency custody.
If your child is at risk, reach out to a family law attorney immediately.
And have them file for an emergency temporary custody order.
Do Temporary Custody Orders Become Permanent?
Temporary custody orders do not become permanent without a new order from a judge.
A temporary custody order lasts UNTIL another custody order gets issued by the judge.
A temporary custody order will get replaced by a permanent custody order.
So, do temporary custody orders become permanent custody orders?
Most of the time, temporary custody orders do not become permanent custody orders.
Temporary custody orders take effect between the beginning of a custody case and a “permanent” custody order.
But temporary custody orders are enforceable just like any other court order.
When judges make a permanent custody order, it’s in the best interests of the child.
Meaning that the temporary custody order could be different from the final custody order.
How to Make Emergency Custody Hearings Easy
The best way to make sure that you have a successful emergency hearing for child custody is to:
- make sure that there is ACTUALLY an emergency
- have substantial proof of the dangers to the child
- review your situation with a family law attorney
- have your family law attorney file the petition for emergency custody
After you have determined that there is danger and you’ve filed the petition, what happens at the first custody hearing?
What Happens At First Custody Hearing?
What will happen at the first custody hearing?
You will need to present evidence that the child is in danger to the judge.
Evidence for emergency custody can be:
- police reports
- medical records
- Child Protective Services reports
- recorded audio
You are responsible for presenting evidence to prove your claims for emergency custody.
At the hearing, the judge ONLY wants to hear about the issues putting the child at risk.
They don’t want to hear about other issues related to:
- filing for divorce
- the divorce process
- irreconcilable differences the parents have
- alimony issues
- child support issues
The emergency custody hearing is only about the danger that the child is in.
So, how long does an emergency custody hearing take?
How Long Does a Custody Hearing Take?
Custody hearings do not take long.
Most custody hearings take less than two hours.
Emergency custody hearings are held within 24 hours of you filing the petition for emergency custody.
After the judge reviews the evidence, they will provide temporary emergency orders.
The order can be given at the time of the hearing or within a couple of days.
This temporary custody order remains in effect until:
- the order’s expiration date passes
- the final custody order is given
A follow-up hearing is set up to make sure the emergency custody order is being followed.
At this follow-up hearing, the judge could modify the original temporary emergency custody order.
How To Save Your Child From Danger
If your child is in danger, the fastest way to get emergency custody is to reach out to your family law attorney.
They will fill out the petition for emergency custody, file it, and schedule your hearing as fast as possible.
They also give you the best chance of saving your child from the danger that they are in.
If your child is being abused, neglected, or potentially kidnapped, fill out the form below.
An experienced child custody lawyer will contact you as fast as possible.