Emergency Custody: Protecting Your Child
We often think of custody battles as protracted court proceedings with multiple hearings and heated discussions between the parties as the fight for custody ensues. And often, that is the case. However, there are situations in which courts grant emergency custody. Emergency custody orders can protect a child from potential or actual danger.
Most of the time, getting an emergency custody order is a function of a reported emergency situation that endangers a child. This can be a police report or another professional’s report. But it can be an eyewitness report, as well. If you suspect that your child is in danger, it is imperative that you contact a Tulsa fathers’ rights attorney as soon as possible to file for an emergency custody order.
Grounds for an Emergency Custody Order
In order to get an emergency custody order, you must show the judge that the child is in surroundings that endanger the child. There must be a danger of irreparable harm to the child if the child continues to stay in that situation. This is usually done with a report generated by the police or the Department of Human Services. The report is attached to the motion asking the court for emergency custody.
Sometimes, a report is difficult to obtain in a timely fashion. If no report is available, the motion can include a notarized affidavit from a person who has personal knowledge of the situation. The witness testifies in the affidavit regarding the circumstances that surround the child, the danger the child is in, and the likelihood of harm to the child if the motion is not granted. Then they sign the document and have it notarized.
Once filed, the hearing on the motion must occur within 72 hours. If the court is unable to hear the matter that quickly, the moving party can present the motion to the presiding judge of the judicial district, who will conduct an emergency custody hearing within 24 hours.
The Court Can and Will Punish the Moving Party For Making False Statements
The court is always interested in protecting any at-risk child. But courts rely on the truth contained in moving documents. It can be tempting to embellish the truth or exaggerate to try to get your child to safety. Don’t do it.
Courts deal harshly with false statements made in an emergency custody motion. The court relies on the truth of those statements. If the moving party makes false statements in the motion, the court may order them to pay attorney’s fees and all other costs incurred by others as a result of the emergency motion within 30 days. The court can also sentence that person to up to 6 months in county jail, a fine of up to $1000, or both (Okla. Stat. tit. 43 § 107.4).
It is imperative that you work with an experienced father’s rights custody attorney in this situation. Working with an experienced attorney will provide that your filing documents are accurate, complete, and persuasive. An attorney can also make sure that the court understands the gravity of the situation, This can help you and your child get the relief you need.
Free Consultation with a Fathers’ Rights Emergency Custody Attorney
Whether you are a married or unmarried father, when your family matters are headed for court, you need an attorney from Tulsa Fathers’ Rights who is committed to protecting your legal interests. Contact us for a confidential free consultation. Call (918) 986-7724 or send an inquiry using the contact links on this page.