Helping Families for 25+ Years

FAQ: Emergency Custody

Below, we answer questions about emergency custody that our clients tend to ask the most.

Q: What is an emergency custody order?

A: Emergency custody orders give you immediate custody without providing notice to the other party. Emergency custody orders typically deal with minor children.

Q: How can I get an emergency custody order for my children?

A: You will first have to file an underlying petition. This can be for a divorce, establishment, or modification. This petition can be filled along with your emergency motion. In your emergency motion, you will need to say exactly what the emergency is and why the judge should sign it without first speaking to the other party. If you are filing emergency orders for a minor child, make sure that your motion states why the child would be in immediate danger of suffering harm if the other party is given notice.

Q: What do courts consider “immediate danger and harm?”

A: It is up to the judge to use their discretion when deciding what constitutes “immediate danger and harm.” Factors like drug and alcohol abuse can greatly influence a judge’s decision, as well as evidence of physical abuse.

Q: What proof should I show the judge?

A: Evidence will be the most significant factor in the judge’s decision making process. Without proof, it is unlikely that you will be able to obtain an emergency order. Collect reports, photos, text messages, and anything else that can be used to prove your situation requires emergency intervention.

Q: After I have written my petition and collected evidence, what do I do next?

A: You will need to go to one of the Superior Courthouses to file the documents you have prepared. Make sure you bring both originals and copies of your documents. The clerk will stamp your documents, file the original, and return your copies. You will then wait in a courtroom until your documents are reviewed by a judge and either signed or denied.

Q: What happens if the judge grants my emergency order?

A: The emergency order will immediately go into effect and you will also be given a document with a date for an upcoming hearing. The order remains in place until the hearing date. The opposing party will be given a chance to defend themselves at the hearing. You have to serve the new emergency order and the order to appear for the hearing date to the opposing party. Lastly, you will need to prepare your testimony and the evidence you plan on presenting at your hearing.

Do you need help getting custody of your children? Contact our Granite Bay child custody lawyers to schedule a case consultation today.