How to Get Emergency Custody in Florida

A contested divorce could take up to a year or longer, depending on the complexity of the parties’ situation. However, there are circumstances in which you cannot wait that long to resolve a problem that demands urgent attention. For instance, when there is a parent who feels that their child is in danger when the child spends time with the other parent. The families involved in these cases cannot afford for the safety of the child to wait the several weeks or months it takes to get a hearing scheduled before the court.

Filing for emergency custody in Florida is how a parent can gain immediate but temporary custody of their child. Though this option exists, it only applies to a limited number of cases. However, if you understand how to file for emergency custody in Florida, you will have a powerful tool to keep your children safe at a time when they need it the most.

Pursuing Emergency Custody in Florida

It is essential to know that emergency temporary custody in Florida will happen ex parte. In other words, when you are filing for emergency custody in Florida, the other parent will not be present at the hearing. That means that the other parent will not have the opportunity to refute, deny, or explain any accusations. This, in essence, is denying the other parent’s right to due process for the sake of a child’s safety. The court takes this extremely seriously and will not hear your case unless there is a true emergency.

What is Emergency Custody in Florida?

As mentioned, emergency custody in Florida typically refers to a situation where a child is in immediate danger and requires protective intervention from the court. In other words, a judge will issue emergency temporary custody orders only to remove a child from a dangerous or harmful environment.

But what feels like an emergency to you may not constitute one that demands filing for emergency custody in Florida. There needs to be an immediate threat to the child that could jeopardize their mental or physical health or well-being. For example, if the other parent has a substance abuse problem, then they may not be able to be the type of parent the child needs them to be to feel safe.

Furthermore, parental kidnapping can happen during a divorce, while you are married, or even after the divorce has been finalized. There are federal laws that prohibit this. If one parent threatens to abduct the child to relocate to another state or country, you would have the ability to file for emergency temporary custody in Florida.

When filing for emergency custody in Florida, a concerned party, such as a parent, relative, or legal guardian, would need to file a petition with the family court. Your petition must outline the reasons why the child is in immediate danger. Naturally, you will need to provide evidence to support your claim. The court will review the evidence and, if convinced that the child’s safety and well-being are at risk, may issue an emergency custody order.

How to Get Emergency Custody in Florida

While you will be filing for emergency custody in Florida urgently, approach the process with utmost care. Nothing matters more than ensuring your child’s safety. Don’t do anything that would compromise your or your child’s safety. Here are the steps involved in getting emergency temporary custody in Florida.

  • Consult an Attorney: The first step is to speak with an experienced family law attorney familiar with Florida laws. They can guide you through the process and help you understand your rights. But most importantly, your lawyer will help you fill out and file the paperwork for your emergency temporary custody in Florida.
  • Gather Evidence: You will need to collect all relevant evidence demonstrating your child is in immediate danger. This might include photographs, medical records, police reports, witness statements, or other documents supporting your case. Share the evidence you have with your lawyer. They can evaluate your case based on the evidence.
  • File the Motion: Once everything is in order, you can file a motion for emergency temporary custody in Florida. Your motion will outline the reasons why you are seeking emergency custody. Of course, your attorney will draft the motion for you and help you file it in court. You will need to file the motion in the county where your child resides.
  • Attend the Hearing: You will need to attend the hearing. Be concise, focused, and respectful during the proceedings. Our lawyer can present the evidence and make a compelling argument to the court on your behalf. Based on the evidence, the court will decide whether or not to award emergency temporary custody in Florida.
  • Follow the Court’s Orders: You will need to follow the orders when a court grants your emergency custody in Florida. It may involve arranging for the child to move in with you immediately.

However, remember that every case is unique. Additionally, laws are always changing. Be sure to consult with an attorney before taking any legal action.

How Long Does Temporary Custody Last in Florida?

As family law attorneys, we often face the question – how long does temporary custody last in Florida?

It differs between cases because temporary custody usually has no specified end date. Your temporary custody order will last until the court can evaluate the situation.

Usually, the court will evaluate the situation and make a final decision regarding custody arrangements as soon as possible, but this is not always the case. After that, your emergency custody order will be null and void and be replaced with the court’s final decision.

Contact Our Child Custody Lawyers in Orlando, FL

Are you filing for emergency custody in Florida? Contact C. Alvarez Law and schedule a consultation to discuss the issue of child custody further. We are well accustomed to handling cases involving post-judgment modifications. When circumstances change and your custody arrangement is no longer in the child’s best interest, you have legal options to consider. Allow us to represent you and keep your child safe.

The following two tabs change content below.

C. Alvarez Law

C. Alvarez Law is a Central Florida-based law firm that helps families find resolutions to their most complex family law issues. We are dedicated to providing the support and advice you need for a positive outcome and a better life. Before you can move on with your life, you need closure. Our firm is diverse, energetic, and passionate about delivering this for the clients who have placed their trust in us. Let’s work together today to find a better tomorrow.

Latest posts by C. Alvarez Law (see all)