Pursuing Emergency Custody In California

Understanding emergency custody enables you to take action and protect your children. For example, let’s say you share children with a recovering addict or alcoholic. Even though your partner hasn’t relapsed and is committed to their sobriety, your relationship deteriorates, and the two of you decide to separate. While you are working through the challenge of dividing your assets, determining custody, and developing a parenting plan, you learn that your former partner has begun drinking or misusing substances again. 

You could be months away from a court date, and the other parent is not in a condition to safely parent your child. What options do you have to protect your child? This is precisely why emergency custody exists.

Breaking Down Emergency Custody

The scenario outlined above is a valid reason for contacting an attorney to file a motion for an emergency hearing. Before we review how to pursue one, we should also highlight that if your former partner  threatens to leave the state with your child, you can use emergency custody to prevent that from happening. 

When you discuss “emergency custody,” you will hear the term ex parte. Though we will explain it in more detail in a moment, an ex parte hearing means that it will occur without your former partner participating. That may be a relief, but some limitations come with an ex parte hearing. Namely, it is temporary if a judge grants you an emergency custody order.

How to Obtain Emergency Custody

At the very least, reach out to an attorney who has experience with emergency orders. They will file a Request for Order, a Temporary Emergency Order, and a Declaration. You will explain why you are pursuing emergency custody when you meet with your attorney. If you are in the middle of a divorce, bring any documentation that outlines the custody arrangement in place, even if it is temporary. If your situation doesn’t meet the criteria of an emergency custody order, you can learn about other legal options. 

Although your former partner may not be at the hearing, they will be notified that a request for order has been filed, but this will be done through your attorney. When your attorney files the paperwork with the clerk’s office, the judge will review the documents and decide whether to issue a temporary order. Your attorney will be able to advise you on how to proceed based on what judge’s decision. Lastly, you will also likely receive a date for a “full hearing.” This is when both sides can offer evidence, testimony, and any supporting documentation for the court. You can potentially leave with a permanent order after it is concluded. 

Choose Empower Law Group to Assist You with Custody Issues

At Empower Law Group, we will work closely with you to develop parenting plans and specialized visitation agreements. These are drafted and created after we learn more about you, your situation, and your children’s unique needs. Contact Empower Law Group to schedule your consultation if you need legal assistance protecting your children.  

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Empower Law Group

My practice is entirely focused on helping families and children navigate the sometimes complex and often confusing world of family law, guardianships, domestic violence, reunification, and litigation. I bring compassion to my work and am dedicated to finding the proper resolution for you and your particular family law dilemma. I am accessible and meticulous about ensuring you receive the attention you deserve. We aim to empower you to create the next great chapter of your life.

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