How to Get an Emergency Custody Order Tips

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How to Get an Emergency Custody Order Tips


Are you in the process of separating from or divorcing the parent of your child or children in San Antonio, Texas? You might worry about your kids’ safety while they’re with the other parent during this process.

If you believe your fears are reasonable and valid, consider petitioning the court for emergency custody. Getting an emergency custody order in San Antonio can help you protect your children when you fear they’re at risk of harm while in the care of a parent who may be violent, upset, or otherwise dangerous.

What Qualifies as Emergency Custody in Texas?

You may have various legitimate reasons to fear for the safety of your children with their other parent during a divorce or separation in Texas. Or, you may have already divorced or separated from the other parent. However, perhaps you wish to modify a custody order because you believe that the other parent is a danger to your child.

Petitioning the court for emergency custody of your children allows you to address your children’s urgent safety needs. When a parent has emergency custody, they have full temporary custody of a child until a court can issue a permanent order.

How to Get an Emergency Custody Order in Texas

You must file a Temporary Restraining Order with the court to petition the court for emergency custody of your children. You will also have to submit a signed affidavit explaining why you believe emergency custody is necessary. You may commit perjury if you sign an affidavit with any false statements.

A judge will review the documentation you’ve provided during an initial hearing. The other parent won’t be present for this. If the judge grants the order, a process server or law enforcement officer must serve the other parent with papers.

The other parent can participate in a hearing after a judge grants the emergency order. This hearing should take place within 14 days of the judge granting the initial order. This hearing involves both parents and gives a court the chance to decide whether to extend an emergency custody order.

What Happens After Emergency Custody is Granted in Texas?

When a judge grants emergency custody in Texas, the other parent must relinquish custody of the children until the court issues a permanent order or officially modified an existing custody arrangement.

The other parent may not be inclined to abide by an emergency custody order’s terms. If they don’t, law enforcement can get involved.

Tips for Getting Emergency Custody in Texas

How to Get an Emergency Custody Order Tips

There’s no guarantee a judge will grant a request for emergency custody. You may improve your chances of convincing the judge to grant an emergency custody order if you keep the following tips in mind:

  • Prepare your evidence – You need to act fast when you believe your child is in danger. However, you also need to provide the court with sufficient evidence to show why you believe emergency custody is necessary. Taking the time to gather your evidence improves your chances of successfully protecting your child in the long run.
  • Contact witnesses – There may be witnesses who can support your argument by explaining why emergency custody is necessary. Contact them and include their statements with your application.
  • Be specific – Sometimes, a judge will grant an emergency custody order if there’s enough evidence to suggest a child is generally in danger around a parent. However, you may strengthen your case if you can specify the nature of your concerns. For example, if the other parent is ignoring you and appears to be traveling out of state with your child, you may suspect they’re at risk of being kidnapped.
  • Stick to the facts – It’s natural and normal to get emotional when you believe your children are in danger. That said, now isn’t the time to let your emotions cloud your judgment. Try to remain objective throughout the process.

Always be completely truthful when requesting emergency custody. The court almost certainly won’t grant the order if there’s strong evidence that you’ve lied about or exaggerated the nature of the danger your child is in. Lying at this stage could also put you at a disadvantage later during custody hearings.

Contact a San Antonio Family Law Lawyer

Fearing for your child’s safety is among the most stressful experiences a parent can face. Be aware, your odds of receiving emergency custody may be greater if you have proper legal assistance.

Get in touch with a San Antonio family law lawyer at Higdon, Hardy & Zuflacht, L.L.P., for more information. We can help you gather evidence to present when submitting an emergency custody order. Our compassionate team can also guide you through the process of pursuing long-term custody of your children. Get started today by contacting us online to schedule a consultation or calling us at (210) 349-9933 today!

Higdon, Hardy & Zuflacht, L.L.P. 12000 Huebner Rd #200 San Antonio, TX 78230 Telephone: (210) 349-9933 Fax: (210) 349-9988
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