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Know How And When To Use Emergency Custody

Posted by Ahluwalia Law Professional Corporation | Apr 20, 2021 | 0 Comments

This is an option you have to protect your children. It doesn't matter if you are newly separated or are divorced. If you are considering filing a request for emergency custody, then you are involved in a serious matter. 

An emergency custody hearing is to ensure the safety of your child. We will go over some of the scenarios that would warrant an emergency custody hearing in a moment. But the purpose is to keep a child away from harm. This is not a way to establish custody faster. 

Divorce is difficult and emotionally trying. Being away from your children or fighting with your former spouse over who will retain custody makes things even harder. This will be sorted out through the divorce process. It can be done through mutual agreement, mediation, or through the court.

But if your child is in danger, then you should pursue emergency custody.

Grounds For Emergency Custody

Here are some of the reasons to seek emergency custody:

  • The child is being abused or neglected.
  • There is drug use/drug addiction in the child's new home.
  • Your former spouse is refusing to let you see your child.
  • Your former spouse is trying to leave the state with your child.
  • Your former spouse won't give consent to necessary medical care for the child.

Evidence You Will Need

Emergency hearings happen quickly. For many of your court dates during the divorce process, you may have to wait several months. If you request an emergency custody order and the court grants it, in California, your hearing will take place within 10 days or as soon as the court's calendar allows it. 

During this hearing, only present evidence that pertains to the emergency custody request. The reasons for your divorce are not relevant here—unless they are about the child. If your spouse neglected you emotionally and committed adultery, it will not be considered. That will happen later and in a different forum.

Evidence such as medical records, sworn statements, police reports, and documents from protective services are very relevant and important. 

What Happens?

The parent being accused will have the ability to make statements. But a judge will ultimately determine a temporary guardian. Further investigation might be ordered as well. The judge can also refer the matter for investigation by Family Court Services and order emergency screening.

And remember, this is a temporary order. There will still have to be a trial before a final order can be handed down. Think of the trial as a clean slate. In California, the temporary custody order is not evidence. The things you submitted (police reports, medical records, etc.) will have to be presented again. 

Ahluwalia Law P.C. 

At Ahluwalia Law P.C., we are proud to offer a wide range of legal services surrounding family law. If you are seeking an attorney for your divorce, child custody issues, or even mediation, we can be of significant help. If you are not already involved in family law litigation, you may be eligible for a free consultation. Contact us at (408) 416-3149 or schedule one online.

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