When a parent fears for the wellbeing of his or her child, the natural response is, of course, to act and do whatever is necessary to protect that child. However, if you do not have custody, you might be wondering how you can legally keep your child safe. The answer to this problem is to obtain an emergency custody order.
What Is Emergency Custody in MD?
Unlike traditional custody hearings, emergency custody hearings take place a few days, or even a few hours, after they are filed. This is dependent on the severity of the situation. These happen quickly so that children can be removed from dangerous circumstances if need be.
When Are Emergency Custody Orders Granted?
There are a variety of circumstances that can arise which would justify the pursuit of an emergency or ex parte child custody order. These orders are designed to protect children who are subjected to or threatened with harm or abandonment and, as such, do not go through the usual path of child custody matters, which often take too much time to resolve. Some examples of situations that necessitate an emergency custody order include:
- Allegations or threats of physical or sexual abuse
- Child abandonment
- Allegations of substance abuse that jeopardized the safety of the child
When seeking this type of order, the child or children must be present within the state for the court to authorize the emergency custody order change.
Requirements for an Emergency Custody Order
Prior to issuing the emergency custody order, the court will conduct a full and formal hearing, during which all parties will have a chance to be heard. When filing for a petition requesting for this type of order, it is important that you provide specific examples of the abuse or threats of abuse. This can include:
- Police reports or arrest records of the other parent
- Records of prior convictions of the other parent that are relevant
- Child Protection Services records
- Medical and dental records
- Records from the child’s psychological evaluations
- Results of any prior protection order hearings
Supporting documents and records are crucial to your case. If you fail to support your allegations in a meaningful way, this will heavily restrict the court’s ability to grant an emergency custody order. Remember, you must have an open case before you file for an emergency hearing.
Contact the Law Office of Nicholas T. Exarhakis at (410) 593-0040
If you believe your child is in immediate danger, it is critical that you act immediately to obtain an emergency custody order. At the Law Office of Nicholas T. Exarhakis, our family law team has been assisting families throughout Maryland for over 30 years and understand the extremely sensitive nature of these issues. Our practiced child custody attorney has the knowledge to obtain the outcome that will best serve your family.
Call the Law Office of Nicholas T. Exarhakis at (410) 593-0040 to request a free case evaluation with a member of our Annapolis legal team.