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Filing an Emergency Custody Order in Florida


Emergency custody orders should be used sparingly. They are filed when one parent alleges that there are indications that a child is in immediate physical danger, experiencing abuse, or at risk of being removed from the state. If you believe that your child is in danger or that your co-parent is planning to abscond with the children, you may elect to file an emergency custody order. In this article, the Tampa, FL family lawyers at Westchase Law, P.A. will discuss emergency custody orders and when and how to file them.

Steps to filing an emergency child custody order in Florida 

  • What emergency motion works best for your situation? Florida courts grant two types of emergency motions: ex-parte and traditional emergency motions. An ex-parte emergency motion is one that is filed and sent directly to the judge without informing the other party. Traditional emergency motions inform the other party of the petitioning party’s intent to file an emergency custody order.
  • Contact a Tampa, FL family lawyer – An experienced Florida family lawyer will evaluate your case against the other parent and what occurred to make you want to file an emergency child custody order. The attorney will understand the process involved in filing an emergency custody order and be able to explain to the judge why it is necessary.
  • File a motion with the judge – Your family law attorney will file the correct motion with the judge to ensure that your children are safe from the other spouse.
  • Getting ready for court – A judge will render the final decision on the emergency custody order. You will need to work with your attorney to ensure that your arguments are in order and that you have enough cause to win the motion before the judge.

Reasons for an emergency custody order 

  • 61.517 of the Florida Statutes indicates that there are three main reasons for an emergency custody order. These are:
  • When the child has been abandoned
  • Child abuse or mistreatment (actual or threatened)
  • Domestic violence (actual or threatened) to a parent or a sibling of the child

What do I need to prove to get emergency custody of my children? 

The standard for gaining emergency custody of a child is high. Your attorney will know what type of scenarios will rise to the standard set by the Florida courts. If someone in your family is in imminent danger, you should contact law enforcement immediately. A police report can be used in an emergency custody order to bolster your arguments. You will need to establish that someone in your family is in imminent danger of being harmed by your partner. The judge will review the order for emergency custody on the same day that it is filed. They will make an immediate determination based on the allegations alone. If the judge decides to grant the motion, they will issue a temporary order granting the emergency motion and set an expedited hearing to determine the extent.

Talk to a Tampa, FL Family Lawyer Today

Westchase Law, P.A. represents the interests of parents filing emergency custody motions. If you or your family is in danger, call our office immediately and learn more about how we can help.

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