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Filing an emergency custody motion

Savannah parents know that custody litigation can be take quite a long time since there are various requirements and steps involved in the custody process. Once you file for custody, it may be weeks or months before you have a final custody order in place.

But what happens if you fear your child is in danger with the other parent and you believe you need custody immediately? You can file an emergency custody motion; however, you must be prepared to prove that your child is in imminent danger, and you must be granted immediate custody to prevent further harm to your child.

Is your situation a true emergency?

Parents typically disagree on what type of situation constitutes an emergency. Disagreements about a custody schedule are usually not emergencies. Abuse or neglect at the other parent’s home, evidence of drug use or violence, or abandonment by the other parent are common examples of emergencies.

Each case is different and proving danger warranting you receiving immediate custody depends on the unique facts and circumstances of your situation. A child custody attorney can listen to your concerns and advise you on if an emergency custody motion is the right choice.

Prepare for your hearing

Judges act quickly on emergency custody motions, typically within 24 hours. If your motion is granted, you will receive custody of your child, but you will be scheduled for a hearing within the next few weeks. The purpose of the hearing is to allow the other parent to defend themselves against the allegations and let the judge hear their side of the story.

Prepare for your hearing by having evidence ready to back up your allegations. You are likely to need more than your testimony stating why you believe your child is in danger. Police reports, witnesses or other documentation strengthens your case.

Judges do not look favorably on parents who file emergency custody motions simply to gain an advantage in a custody dispute or because they are unhappy with a custody schedule. Therefore, you should think carefully before filing an emergency custody motion.