Emergency Custody Explained

Most parents will do whatever it takes to ensure the safety of their child. For parents who believe that their child may be in danger, this can include filing for emergency custody. Here’s more information about emergency custody and how to file for it.

What Is Emergency Custody?

Although the state of California firmly believes that it benefits the child to have a continuous relationship with both parents, there are instances when that may not be in the child’s best interest. If you believe that your child is in danger, you can file for emergency custody.

Some examples of when you should file are if you suspect your:

    • former spouse is transferring anger or aggression to your child,
    • child might be at risk of observing or being a victim of domestic violence,
    • former spouse refuses to provide consent for your child to receive urgent medical treatment,
    • child might be at risk of observing or receiving abuse, or
    • former spouse may take your child and leave.

Should I Have a Lawyer?

If you want to file for emergency custody, you should absolutely have a lawyer. It is technically possible for non-legal people to file the required paperwork. However, because of the importance of the situation and necessary timeliness of paper filing, it is best to have a professional file your request for you.

How to File for Emergency Custody

When you decide that you want to file for emergency custody, contact your lawyer. Normally, the attorney who helped you with your divorce can also help you file your paperwork in this situation. It is particularly important for you to contact your attorney if you believe your child is in immediate danger. This way, your lawyer might be able to file your paperwork without giving any sort of notice to your former spouse.

After You File

After you file for emergency custody, the papers must be served to the other parent. Some attorneys will do this for you, or you may want to enlist the help of a professional process server. Once the papers have been delivered, the case will go to court where a judge will decide whether emergency custody should be granted.

Get Help

You want to ensure the safety of your child, but it’s more challenging when you’re co-parenting with a former spouse, especially one that may provide an unsafe environment. If you feel this way, Fenchel Family Law can help. We can help you file the necessary paperwork to help ensure your child’s safety. Give us a call at (415) 805-9069 or contact us online to learn how we can help.