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How to File for Emergency Custody

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If you think your child is in “immediate danger” of being harmed or becoming removed by the state, you could petition a decree for emergency child custody. The circumstances that you are seeking emergency custody without a doubt are far from perfect. You might be concerned, stressed, and/or mad, etc. Luckily, the process of filing for emergency custody comprises of only a couple of forms.

Preparing to File for Emergency Custody

1. Understand Emergency Custody

  • Recognize that typical custody determinations take months.
  • Emergency custody may be necessary in urgent situations.
  • Criteria for emergencies are defined by state regulations.

2. Criteria for Emergency Custody

  • Emergencies typically involve “immediate danger.”
  • Immediate danger may include domestic violence, sexual abuse, or inadequate supervision.
  • Courts may intervene if a child is about to leave the state.

3. Temporary Nature of Emergency Custody

  • Emergency custody is not a permanent arrangement.
  • A formal hearing may not take place immediately.
  • A later official hearing, with both parents present, is required for permanent custody.

4. Eligibility to Seek Emergency Custody

  • Check state laws to determine eligibility to petition for emergency custody.
  • Typically limited to parents or individuals in loco parentis.

5. Understanding “In Loco Parentis”

  • In loco parentis refers to acting as a parent without legal parenthood.
  • Demonstrating the assumption of parental roles and responsibilities.

6. Gather Evidence of Emergency

  • Collect evidence demonstrating immediate harm.
  • Document discussions, gather emails, and notes.
  • Useful not only for emergency custody but also for potential full custody later.

7. Consult with an Attorney

  • If time allows, meet with an attorney for guidance.
  • Attorneys may offer “un-bundled services” for specific needs.
  • Some areas provide counseling/legal help at no cost.

8. Seek Attorney’s Assistance

  • If confused or in a time-sensitive situation, seek an attorney’s help.
  • Find a local family attorney through yellow pages or online searches.
  • Do not delay seeking assistance, especially if immediate action is required.

Completing The Forms

1. Locate the Proper Court

  • Identify the county where your child resides.
  • Visit your state’s Supreme Court website.
  • Look for links to “court locations” or “locate my court.”

2. Review Local Regulations

  • Check state and local regulations governing motion practices.
  • Find the regulations on the court’s website.
  • Search for terms like “emergency hearing” or “ex parte hearing.”

3. Gather the Forms

  • Request preprinted “fill-in-the-blank” documents from the superior court or online.
  • Common form names include “Temporary Emergency Court Order,” “Motion and Affidavit for Emergency Ex Parte Order,” and “Petition for Emergency Relief.”

4. Visit the Courthouse Website

  • Download forms from the court’s website.
  • Call the clerk to confirm which documents are needed for emergency custody.
  • If required, file any prerequisite motions before the emergency custody motion.

5. Consult with Court Clerk or Attorney

  • Inquire with the clerk about required documents.
  • Seek legal advice if needed.
  • Inform the clerk of any previously filed motions.

6. Read Instructions

  • Each document comes with instructions.
  • Thoroughly read and understand the instructions before filling out the forms.

7. Fill Out the Forms

  • Complete the forms accurately and fully.
  • Type information into blue fields if downloading the form.
  • Provide details such as your full name, address, other parent’s details, and reasons for the motion.

8. Caution on Allegations

  • Only allege what can be proven with evidence.
  • Avoid claims without proof to prevent contempt charges and court fee liabilities.

9. Seek Assistance

  • Utilize self-help centers or family law assistants at the courthouse for guidance.
  • Contact or visit to inquire about available assistance with form completion.

Source:

  1. Clinton M. Sandvick, J. (2019, November 27). How to file for emergency custody. Retrieved March 09, 2021, from https://www.wikihow.com/File-for-Emergency-Custody

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