Worrying about their children’s well-being is the worst sensation a parent can have, especially if their child is not currently in their custody. When parents establish a custody agreement, an order is created that specifies when one parent has custody of their kid and when the other parent has custody time. An emergency custody order (ex parte) is possible if one parent, legal caregiver, or legal guardian fears the kid is in danger in the other parent’s household.
Before we go into how to secure a temporary emergency order in Texas, let’s look at the different forms of child custody orders.
Types of Child Custody Orders
An order is issued by a court when it formally requires you to perform something.
Orders in custody disputes specify who must care for a child and how, and they are frequently granted in the form of parenting plans and custody schedules. Orders can be different for each child in a family.
In custody proceedings, three sorts of court orders are issued: temporary, emergency, and final orders.
#1. Temporary Orders
During the lawsuit or settlement process, temporary custody orders determine who gets custody and visitation. For this brief time period, they can also establish child support and address other parenting difficulties.
A temporary order is normally in effect until it is terminated, modified, or replaced by a final order issued by a judge. The temporary order may have an expiration date.
A temporary order may not be required if parents can agree on how to co-parent for the duration of their case. Most courts, however, urge — and in some cases, demand — a temporary order in all cases. Parents who have especially strained relationships should always obtain one.
Some courts provide free conciliation or mediation to assist parents in reaching an agreement on a temporary order. If parents can’t agree, they can petition the judge to decide the details of a temporary order after hearing from both of them at a hearing.
Although temporary orders are intended to provide short-term solutions, they can have an impact on the outcome of a case. When a temporary order works well, parents or the judge may be tempted to replicate the same arrangements in a permanent order.
#2. Emergency Custody Order (ex parte orders)
An emergency custody order also known as an ex parte order is a temporary order that is given quickly, most often in circumstances of domestic violence or child abuse. In a custody case, they need proof that the child is in imminent danger or has been abducted.
To obtain an emergency custody order, prepare a motion or petition that explains the pressing matter and file it with the court. You should engage an attorney to draft this since it affects how quickly the court hears your case.
A court determines whether to issue the order within a few days (or even hours in extreme cases). They may initially convene a hearing during which you can testify about the emergency situation. This hearing is normally performed ex parte, which means that the other parent is not present.
If the judge gives you emergency custody, you will have a hearing within the next several weeks in which both parents will be able to present evidence. The judge will next determine whether to overturn the emergency order, alter it, or leave it in place.
#3. Final orders (permanent parenting plans or final decrees)
Final orders, sometimes known as permanent parenting plans, final decrees, final verdicts, and so on, conclude a case. They specify specifics of legal custody and physical custody in custody issues, usually in the form of a parenting plan. They also deal with all of the other difficulties in the case.
A final order supersedes any associated temporary orders and remains in effect until one of the following events occurs:
- The child turns 18 years old.
- The child has achieved emancipation (legally declared independent from parents).
- A parent convinces the court that the order must be modified.
Parents should preferably agree on their final custody arrangements in a settlement, and the judge should sign off on it to make it a final order.
Alternatively, the judge makes a final order based on the evidence given at trial. If a parent has grounds to challenge the judge’s judgment, they can file an appeal with a higher court and restart the legal procedure.
How Do I Obtain An Emergency Custody Order For My Child In Texas?
First and foremost, you must file an underlying petition. The petition could be for a divorce, establishment, or modification, for example. You can file the petition with your emergency move.
The document that will get you the temporary custody order in Texas will be your emergency motion. In your emergency motion, you must explain what the emergency is and why the court should sign it without telling the opposing party.
If the emergency motion is for a minor child, you must explain why the child is in urgent danger and harm, and that if the opposing party is given notice, the child may be injured.
What to Expect When Filing a Texas Emergency Custody Order
A legal caregiver must fear that their child is in danger for an emergency custody order to be granted. We will go over exactly what is required to declare an emergency later. However, the most important order to know right now is that the procedure can be extremely emotional.
When children are considered to be in a dangerous position, it is natural for a parent or caregiver to experience alarm, wrath, fear, and other emotions. It is also tough to guide yourself through the procedure of gaining emergency custody because various forms must be accurately filled out and a hearing must take place.
It is essential that you hire a family law attorney in Texas to assist you with this process. Because of the high emotions involved and the complexities of the filing procedures, the advice and years of experience of a family law attorney can be invaluable and reassuring. Your attorney will accompany you to the hearing, and the court will decide what is best for the child. Your attorney will assist you in preparing for and providing evidence to protect your child’s safety.
What Qualifies as an Emergency?
While the Texas Family Law Code does not define an emergency, what is most important in the eyes of the court is the child’s “safety and wellbeing.” When the child’s safety and welfare are jeopardized, the parent has the right to file a motion for an emergency temporary custody change. Some potential safety and welfare considerations are as follows:
- Adoption of a child
- Neglect of children
- Unsafe surroundings
- Lack of food access
- Abuse of drugs or alcohol
- Refusal to comply with a restraining order
- Inadequate medical attention
These are only a few examples; nevertheless, this is not an entire list. Unfortunately, there are other settings in which children might be placed that have a negative impact on their safety and well-being. Your family law attorney is the finest resource for identifying your problems, preparing your case, and maybe finding other cases similar to yours to help support your allegations.
Is Evidence Required to File for Emergency Temporary Custody Order?
This is one of the most important things your attorney can do for you: assist you in preparing a proof for the court to demonstrate your worries.
How to File a Texas Emergency Child Custody Order Petition
Your family law attorney will go over two forms with you and answer any questions you may have. The Request to Order an Emergency Custody Temporary Order is the first form. This form will detail what custody rights need to be modified and will be accompanied by a declaration from the party who is moving. The declaration will explain why the emergency temporary order is required immediately and will point to exhibits, or evidence, that backs up your assertions.
An Order to Appear is the second form that your family law attorney will assist you in completing. When this form is filed with the court, the clerk designates a department, day, and time for the emergency order to be heard.
According to Cornell University’s School of Law, in an emergency custody situation, the emergency order can be delivered by police officers, and custody is promptly given to the party applying for an emergency custody hearing. The kid or children will be kept in the petitioner’s custody for a short period of time, usually a few days, until the hearing. This assures the children’s safety and what the courts believe is in the best interests of the child.
Following the Filing of Your Temporary Emergency Custody Order Petition In Texas
Following the filing of the emergency temporary custody petition by your family law attorney, a series of events will occur. The other parent or caregiver must be informed of the upcoming hearing, and you will accompany your family law attorney to the hearing before a court.
Your Case’s Notice Requirements
Once your attorney has filed the first two documents with the appropriate district court, the other party must be notified. Notice is given when an individual who is not a party to the lawsuit serves the other party with copies of both forms. This is frequently a process server that your family law attorney uses on a regular basis. The notice is complete after either party is informed of the filing and knows the hearing date and time.
Preparing for Your Texas Hearing
Your family law attorney will assist you in preparing for the hearing. You will have the opportunity to address the judge. Your family lawyer can provide you with the following advice:
- Describe how the law applies to the facts of your situation.
- What the judge wants to hear and needs to hear
- Review your case’s strategies.
- Assist you in selecting the finest evidence to offer.
- Prepare to testify and speak in front of the judge.
- Assist you in selecting the best witnesses to present in your case.
- If feasible, assist you in reaching a settlement or agreement before to the hearing.
- What questions should you ask your witnesses throughout their testimony?
- Creating and drafting suggested orders for the judge to sign during the hearing
Once both parties have spoken, the judge will analyze the facts, documents, and testimony and issue a temporary order.
Following through on court directives
When a court issues an order, it is critical that you obey it. If you do not comply, the court has several alternatives for enforcing custody orders, including jail time.
It should be noted that a “ex parte” order may not be enforceable in other states. If you intend to go to another state, we recommend consulting with a lawyer.
We recommend that you consult with a lawyer before filing for emergency custody.
FAQs About Emergency Custody Order
How long is a temporary Emergency custody order in effect?
They are in effect until they are modified or a final order is issued by a judge. If parents are unable to reach an agreement on a temporary order during conciliation, the conference officer suggests one to the court, and the parties must abide by it until the court finds otherwise.
What are the rights of a father?
In short, until and unless a court decrees differently, an unmarried father’s parental rights are lower to those of an unmarried mother. The custody rights of an unmarried woman are also higher to those of a father who has not confirmed paternity. To talk with a parental rights attorney, please contact our office immediately away.
How can I obtain sole custody of my child without having to go to court?
Reaching an agreement with the other parent is your greatest chance for obtaining complete child custody without a trial. If you and your partner believe that your child would benefit from exclusive custody, include this in your custody agreement.
What constitutes an unstable parent?
An unfit parent is a parent who fails to provide sufficient direction, care, or support to their children through their actions. This might encompass not only the actions of a parent, but also a home setting that contains abuse, neglect, or substance misuse.