What is an Ex Parte Hearing for Child Custody?

What is an Ex Parte Hearing for Child Custody?

Anyone that is filing for custody of a minor child can petition the court to appoint an emergency ex parte order of custody when they deem there is an urgent and immediate risk of physical danger and/or mental harm to the minor.

  1. An order that is appointed ex parte means that it is appointed without previous notice to the other party, only on the basis of your testimony. When a judge appoints the emergency ex parte order, they are going to schedule a hearing within fourteen days;
  2. and the respondent be served at a minimum of five days prior to that hearing.
  3. At the trial, the other party can protest to the ex parte order’s continuation, and it is going to be up to a judge to determine whether or not to carry on with the order.

If the judge opts to not appoint an ex parte order immediately, they are still required to schedule a hearing on the issue although it might not necessarily be within fourteen days. If at any time prior to or following the hearing, the judge deems that an urgent and immediate risk of physical danger or mental harm to the child to be found, the judge has the power to appoint an emergency ex parte order for the safeguarding of the minor (and the judge can give notice to the Department of Children and Families of any pertinent information in your testimony for their potential investigation). The order could offer provisional child custody or visitation rights and could order the respondent-party to not:

  1. take the child out of the state;
  2. impede the applicant’s custody of the minor;
  3. impede with the minor’s schooling; or
  4. carry out any other particular action that is in the child’s best interests.

Who is Permitted Custody?

When there is a challenge between a parent and a non-parent concerning custody, a judge can presume that it is in the child’s best interest of the to be with their parent. This applies unless it can be proven that being with the parent would be detrimental to the child.

Where the parents have passed away or are found to be unfit, the judge can grant custody to another individual or to an agency like the Department of Human Resources, subject to what the judge deems to be in the child’s best interest. If one parent has passed away, is unfit or declines to take custody, or has deserted the child, the other parent is typically permitted to custody of the child.

Do I Need an Attorney?

You are not required to hire an attorney to file for custody. Nevertheless, it may be challenging for you to represent yourself in court without the assistance of an attorney. Additionally, if the other parent has an attorney, it will be particularly beneficial if you have one as well.


  1. The custody process. WomensLaw.org. (2020, October 29). https://www.womenslaw.org/laws/ct/custody/custody-process.

Speak With Our Child Custody Attorney In Scottsdale

Our child custody and guardianship attorney in Phoenix and Scottsdale will advance your case with concern and personal attention and always have you and your children’s best interest in mind when offering legal solutions.

An experienced family law attorney will work with you to obtain the best possible outcome in your situation. We advocate for our clients, so they have the brightest future possible. Give us a call today at 480-999-0800 for a free consultation.


Jennifer Moshier Collaborative Divorce Lawyer Scottsdale Arizona
Jennifer Moshier, Scottsdale Divorce Lawyer

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