When Should You Consider Emergency Custody of Children?

Jan 17, 2018 | Child Custody

Texas family law is written with an eye toward best serving the needs of the children. In most cases, this means carefully structured joint custody where both parents have reasonable access to the children. However, in cases where the children are in danger, judges will issue emergency custody orders to keep those children safe.

When Can You File for Emergency Custody?

Emergency temporary custody order can be filed if the child is in danger in their current location. Reasons for emergency custody can include neglect, abuse, drug or alcohol abuse on the part of the parent and abandonment. 

These custody orders can be filed even if you have not lived in the state of Texas for the usual minimum of six months. While generally, under the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act, the state where the child has lived for the prior six months has jurisdiction, emergency custody can be sought in a number of cases. For instance, if you have had to flee to Texas from your home state because of severe abuse or neglect, a judge here can file a temporary custody order that stays in place until the court here or in the child’s home state can provide a more permanent solution.

Emergency custody orders filed on behalf of non-parents are also sometimes necessary. For instance, the sudden death or incapacity of both of a child’s parents can necessitate another family member taking custody of the child. 

How to File for Emergency Custody

It is necessary to visit the San Antonio County Clerk of Courts in order to file for emergency custody. You will need to file the correct forms and pay any relevant fees. While you are not required to have a lawyer represent you, a skilled attorney can help you navigate the system. With the help of a passionate and knowledgeable attorney, you can be sure that the particulars of your case are communicated effectively in order to resolve custody issues quickly and safely. 

What Comes Next?

Emergency orders are typically temporary; the judge will make a more permanent decision once immediate danger has passed. When a judge believes that there is a good reason to do so, one parent can be named the child’s Sole Managing Conservator. This is an arrangement that gives custodial parent the exclusive right to make decisions about the child. 

My training as a Family Law Mediator and my years of experience as an attorney mean that you and your family have the help that you need resolving custody issues during divorce. If you feel that your child is in danger in your current custody arrangement, do not delay. I can help you navigate the Texas family courts and get the best resolution for your family.

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