When it comes to family law, the most difficult cases are those that involve emergency custody of a child. This is because it means the child in question is in immediate danger. It is also possible to think about this type of custody in case one of the parents has been harmed.
In order to have a chance at custody, you should have a true emergency. These are treated very seriously by the court. Although you could have different reasons to seek custody, you must be able to prove that there is a real threat or danger to the child. In case domestic violence or child abuse is involved, you can be sure that you will have a very good case at court. For the court to consider your case, you must have the child with you either in your home state or in another state.
Who Has Jurisdiction?
There is one court that has jurisdiction over the current custody arrangement. In order to gain some insight into the process, you might want to call the court clerk and ask for information. This is an important step because the laws vary from one state to the other. Although you might think that your lawyer will tell you everything you need to know, it might be best to gather some information on your own as well. This way you will become an active participant in the process.
Leaving Your Home State
If you think the child would have been harmed and you fled your home state, you can file for emergency custody in the state you are currently residing in. Nonetheless, you have to remember that this will complicate things a bit. Regardless of where you are, the original court will always have a word to say in the decisions. However, in your case, another court might be allowed jurisdiction to make temporary changes. These will last for a limited period of time that will be defined in the document or until you take steps for a permanent change.
Finding a Lawyer
While some people might think that they can solve everything on their own, you should know that you can always ask for the help of an emergency custody attorney. In case you don’t have money for a legal representative, you should seek the help of support groups that offer help for little to no cost.
Filing a Petition
In order to change the child custody order as soon as possible, you will have to file a petition in which you request an emergency court hearing. Usually, this is solved quickly, and the other parent’s presence isn’t required (known as an ex-parte hearing).
In many cases, gaining emergency custody is the best thing to do both for the child and the parent. This way the parent will know that the child will be safe and no legal actions can be taken against them for not allowing the other parent to see the child during or after the procedure.