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Temporary Custody

Temporary child custody occurs when the courts award physical custody of the children to one of the parents, pending an official judgment of the proceedings. This occurs when there are extreme circumstances that indicate a threat to the children. It may also be given in the case when one of the children's parents is dealing with substance abuse which would otherwise inhibit their ability to adequately care for the child. If both parents are able to reach an agreement before a hearing, the process usually goes smoothly. Though there are scenarios where both would like to contend for custody and in these cases, both parties should prepare themselves for a trial.

Temporary Custody Agreement

It is possible for the parents to come to an agreement concerning temporary custody without going to court. These parents can also provide temporary custody of their baby to the other parent while they resolve particular contentions, such as their living arrangements, during which time it may not be possible for the child to live with them. Temporary custody in these scenarios does not mean the parent without custody is relinquishing their rights to the child. Considering there is no formal custody order, the parent may go to the courts for a solution should the other parent refuse to give parental rights or debate custody.

Temporary Custody by Going to Court

When going to court for temporary custody, it is essential to be familiar with the various forms required throughout this legal process. The, but many of them are similar in what each parent needs to document.

One crucial form in such cases is the Petition for Temporary Custody, which serves as a formal request submitted to the court outlining your desire and reasoning for seeking temporary custody of a child. This document should contain specific details about both parties involved and provide supporting evidence that demonstrates why granting temporary custody to you would be in the child's best interest.

Another critical form is the Temporary Parenting Plan, which focuses on delineating how you will handle parental responsibilities during this interim period. It includes information about visitation schedules, decision-making authority, and any special circumstances concerning schooling or medical care. Furthermore, an Affidavit may also need filing; it acts as a sworn statement affirming key facts regarding your relationship with the child, living conditions, financial stability, and overall ability to provide suitable care temporarily.

Additionally, make sure to include Consent Forms signed by both parents if their agreement exists beforehand or has been negotiated outside of court proceedings—a testament highlighting smoother transitions between households while intensifying cooperation during these challenging times within families.

What Happens After Temporary Custody Is Granted

If the circumstances of the case are severe, the judge may grant emergency custody, ‘ex-parte,' meaning the other parent does not have to be present or even notified before granting temporary custody to an individual. Ex parte emergency custody may be granted in the case the parent has a history of abusive behavior. If that is not the case, the court has to follow a set of procedures that allow the other parent to build a case.

Once one is granted emergency custody, there is a return date that is set. The courts will also issue an order indicating if the child is to be brought to the other parent or if there will be a change of custody. Depending on the facts of the matter, law enforcement agencies would assist in removing the child from the care of the initial guardian. That is, if there was contention on the decision by the judge. The judge is also going to schedule a follow-up hearing soon, during which time both the original parent and the applicant will have a chance to present their respective cases.

Legal counsel is advisable in these cases as it improves the overall outlook. Ultimately, the judge will make a final decision concerning the child if they will return to the original custody arrangement, which was the case, or if there will be a new structure.

When is Emergency Custody the Right Option?

The parameters for emergency custody are similar to those of temporary custody, considering it is when the child appears to be in harm's way under the control of the opposing parent. Some of the reasons a parent would consider emergency custody are abandonment, abuse, or domestic violence. Among these reasons, abandonment is the easiest to build a case on as the parent is not there. Previous arrests or even welfare visits can be used as a case for domestic violence, though. Child abuse can be established if the family has received several visits from child protective services and they have established a case for child abuse within the premises.

How Long Does a Temporary Custody Order Last?

Temporary custody orders are only short-term judgments before the final decision in family law. These are in place until the time there is a final order. Once there is a decision, temporary orders are nullified unless they are a part of the final order. Temporary order durations vary according to time, depending on the case. If the case is a drawn-out conflict, though, the order may be valid for months.

However, it is possible to change a temporary order via an agreement or through the courts. If one of the parents seeks to change the temporary order, but they cannot come to an agreement, they will have to seek legal advice before the temporary order court hearing. They will also have to meet particular criteria for the judge to consider their modification. For example, the other parent may do something to endanger or hurt the children. Considering the children's best interest is the measuring stick of custody, this is a good argument. A change in income, like a raise, may also be one reason to file for a modification of temporary orders.

Ask Your Counsel About Custody if You Are Not Sure What You Need

Temporary custody orders are meant to be short-term; however, they may affect the final decision of the case. They are not final decisions, though, and a parent cannot use a temporary custody order to refuse visitation or legal rights over the child. If the parent with temporary custody refuses to provide rights, there are grounds for litigation, and the courts may grant custody to the aggrieved parent.

Temporary custody orders are also meant to be in place pending an official judgment. They can be used when one parent is suffering a dependency issue or are absent as a caregiver. In extreme situations, the courts may grant an ex-parte temporary custody order which means the other party is not notified of the proceedings. Alternatively, both parties may reach an agreement that saves on resources and time spent in court.