How to overturn an emergency custody order? When it comes to protecting the wellbeing of a child, families must take urgent action when necessary. Unfortunately, this means that emergency custody orders may need to be issued in extreme circumstances without adequate time for due process and family operations.
However, while the goal is to ensure the safety of the minor, their legal rights must also be upheld. In cases where an emergency custody order was issued erroneously, individuals have recourse and can work with courts and attorneys to overturn it.
This blog post will explain how such an action can be taken in lawful ways as well as outlining some resources available to those facing these conflicts. Keep on reading for How to overturn an emergency custody order.
Emergency Custody Order – What is That?
Before getting to how to overturn an emergency custody order, we should check out what emergency custody order is.
When a court recognizes that the current parent or guardian of a child cannot provide proper care, an emergency custody order is issued. In such cases, custodial rights are seized from the original caregiver and Child Protective Services (CPS) will step in to assume legal guardianship over the minor.
To shield a child from further harm, the court system may issue an emergency custody order when they are exposed to domestic violence, substance abuse or any other form of criminal activity.
To ensure the security of your beloved family member, Child Protective Services (CPS) must establish evidence which reveals that the minor could face a potential risk if allowed to stay in their current environment. The judge then ultimately will decide on whether or not an Emergency Custody Order should be issued – guaranteeing essential protection for your relative.
Why Would a Court Grant an Emergency Custody Order?
In the face of a child’s jeopardy, CPS has permission to take them into protective custody and away from their home when necessary. Likewise, if parents or guardians are unable to provide satisfactory care because of mental health concerns or addiction issues, then authorities can lawfully remove that right as well.
Before a child can be legally removed from their family by CPS or law enforcement, an emergency custody order must first be officially sanctioned by the court.
A court order is used to expedite the legal process and advocate for the removal of a minor. Sometimes, when presented with sufficient evidence by the petitioner, a judge may even put forth an emergency custody order without taking away said child from their home – which in these situations can be seen as reasonable justification.
Things to Consider While Overturn an Emergency Custody Order
If you’ve received and do not know how to overturn an emergency custody order, there are a few things to be mindful of while attempting to reverse the ruling and reclaim your right as primary custodian. Here are some tips for overcoming this situation:
- Stay calm: Maintaining a sense of equanimity is critical, even if the situation pushes you to experience frustration. Any words uttered can be used against you in the future, so it’s best to remain composed and collected during challenging times.
- No discuss the case with anyone: Being mindful of what you say is crucial, as even your most trusted family members and an attorney could use it against you. Therefore, take extra precautions in order to avoid any further complications with your case.
- Contact a custody attorney: Even if you don’t have the money to hire a lawyer right now, most courts will provide an attorney free of charge if your financial situation doesn’t permit it.
- Prep to fight: Brace yourself for a lengthy battle; you will likely need to haggle with your opponent multiple times before reaching an agreement.
How to Overturn an Emergency Custody Order
1. Quickly retain a family lawyer
When served and learn how to overturn an emergency custody order, it is vital to contact an attorney immediately. The earlier you acquire legal counsel, the greater your prospects of successfully voiding the order.
Don’t forget to conduct a thorough search and interview various lawyers before making any decisions; request references from each candidate as well as a retainer agreement that outlines services provided in detail.
2. Make sure that you are the emergency contact
To ensure you’re always informed and up-to-date on your child’s health, make sure that your name is listed as an emergency contact. Without it, any medical information regarding their hospitalization will likely be kept from you and first responders won’t alert you should there ever be a concerning incident involving them. Don’t miss out – get yourself added to the list now!
3. Record the time you spend with your child
Ensure you record all the time spent with your child when it comes to how to overturn an emergency custody order. This can be anything from meals, activities, trips to school, or having lunch together – nothing should go unrecorded. Documenting will help give a clear picture of what is happening in their lives and how much time they spend with each parent.
If you are accompanying your child to a doctor’s appointment, make sure that this is well documented. Even if permanent custody has not been granted yet, it is essential to keep track of the time spent with your offspring in order to demonstrate to the court that you deeply care about them and actively participate in their lives – thus proving there would be no reason for denying long-term guardianship.
4. Request an appeal to overturn an emergency order
If you disagree with a temporary emergency order and deem it as unjustified, fight for your rights by filing for an official hearing to have the order removed. In this instance, present documentation that will prove why long-term custody should be granted to you.
This may include (but is not limited to):
- A listing of your reliable and steady employment.
- A listing of your beneficial relationships with friends, family, and other community members.
- A listing of the pleasant and constructive encounters you’ve had with your child.
- Your child’s teachers, child care providers, and pediatrician should offer continuous, positive comments.
5. Consult with psychologists/ therapists
Should you be presented with an emergency order requiring therapy or doctor visits, don’t resist this. Instead, take the initiative to search for a psychologist or therapist who can construct a robust argument in your favor and help you overturn the temporary custody ruling.
6. Create and enhance the support network you have
Reach out to your friends, family, neighbors, and community members for support when it comes to how to overturn an emergency custody order. Express what has happened and don’t be afraid to ask them for help. They could provide childcare some evenings or on the weekends so you can have a much-needed break without worrying about your child’s care. A little bit of assistance from those around you goes a long way!
7. Document everything
Going forward, be sure to document every detail. In order to get the most out of therapy sessions or doctor appointments, take note of dates and times of visits, written records supplied by your therapist or physician as well as any personal notes you make during these meetings. This way all relevant details are logged for later review if needed.
8. Ensure the hearing date is soon.
In the event that your emergency custody hearing is scheduled far into the future, you should submit a motion to expedite it. This motion can be used to have the court date moved up as soon as possible so that your case can be heard quickly and fairly. Do not let precious time pass by without taking any action!
9. Prove yourself as a better caregiver than your ex
To overturn the emergency custody order, you must demonstrate that you are a better parent than your ex. To accomplish this, you must give evidence of the following:
- Provide an appropriate living environment for your youngster.
- You may provide financially for your child.
- Develop a positive rapport with your youngster.
- Must have a solid and regular employment record.
- You have great relationships with your friends, family, and other community members.
- Positive and healthy interactions exist between you and your child.
10. Prove that your child will be at risk if staying with your ex
If your ex has been granted custody of your child, you must do all that is in your power to demonstrate how this does not serve the best interests of the child. You need to illustrate that they are unable to protect them from potential harm and perilous circumstances.
If your child is five years old or younger, the court will automatically assume that they could be in danger if kept in their current situation with those currently tending to them. In order for you to prove that this isn’t the case, present valid evidence of safety directly to the court.
If your ex-spouse has a record of substance abuse, crime, or violence in the past, you must provide evidence to demonstrate their behavior and that they have changed. The court will assume — if your child is over five years old — that they are not presently at risk while living with their other parent. Still, it is necessary to prove this definitively within the courtroom setting.
11. Demonstrate that there was no true urgency when the judge issued their edict
If your ex has been granted emergency custody based on their claims of drugs or alcohol being found in your home, or that your child was negatively affected while under your supervision, it’s vital to prove to the court that these accusations are unfounded.
If you have any evidence that disproves the allegations of drug use or harm to your child, be sure to present it in court. Additionally, if you can provide proof such as receipts or documentation showing your attendance at a rehabilitation program for drugs and alcohol, or even therapy for mental illness – include these vital pieces of information in your motion to overturn the emergency custody order.
When you demonstrate proof of your progress toward recovery, the court is more likely to deny a long-term ex-custody order.
12. Request an extension to the due date for filing your motion to reverse
To reverse the emergency custody order, you must submit a motion to the court within 10 days of being granted this order. If you were informed about it in any other way than personal service, then your deadline is extended by an additional 10 days and ends 20 days after receiving notice. However, if there are valid reasons as to why you need more time to file for this motion, reach out to the court and request an extension of that timeline.
If your child is currently in therapy, if you yourself are receiving therapy, or if any other special circumstances have hindered your ability to file the motion, kindly request a longer deadline from the court.
Additionally, should you feel that there may be an imminent danger for your child’s parent to withdraw them from their therapy sessions and/or change their living environment; urge the court to suspend this order until a formal motion seeking its reversal has been filed.
13. Don’t wait any longer – file your motion to vacate right away!
When you have all the evidence necessary to invalidate the emergency custody order, file your motion right away. Be sure to include any and all proof that supports overturning the order as well as a legitimate explanation for why more time is needed if applicable. Doing so increases your chances of successfully reversing this decision.
14. Dialogue with the other parent to discuss and reach a mutually beneficial custody agreement
If the court decides in your favor, you will very likely regain custody of your child. But if being granted permanent custodianship over them is not something that appeals to you, consider negotiating a temporary alternative with your former partner – it could be just what both parties need!
If you and your ex can concur, then draft a custody agreement and submit it to the judge. Ensure that you include an expiration date so that this matter can be revisited in the future if need be. Even if emergency guardianship has been granted to your former spouse over your child, there is still hope of reversing the order and regaining control as guardian yourself. To do this, file a motion to overturn the current arrangement while supplying evidence highlighting why you make for a better parent than they do.
To ensure the safety of your child, it’s vital that you present evidence to demonstrate any danger they may be facing in their current situation. For example, do they have a parent with a criminal history, addiction issues, or a violent past? Furthermore, if staying with their caregiver could put them at greater risk of harm provide appropriate proof for this too. Negotiating an amicable custody agreement with your ex-partner is worth considering too – when possible!
What is an unstable parent?
In the state of California, a parent who fails to provide adequate care and guidance to their children is classified as an unfit parent. This includes situations where abuse, neglect or drug use occurs in the home environment due to insufficient parental oversight.
What if I fail to overturn an emergency custody order?
If you are unable to overturn an emergency custody order, the court may grant a long-term ex-custody or guardianship order. This means that the other parent will be granted permanent legal rights over your child and you no longer have control of how they are raised. Make sure to consult with a qualified attorney if this is the case.
Joint custody vs Emergency custody orders: What is The Difference?
Custody is the legal term used to refer to how parents will share and make decisions about their children.
Joint custody refers to a situation where both parties have an equal and shared responsibility for their child, while emergency custody is only ever granted in moments of crisis or when one parent cannot adequately care for the child.
Emergency custody orders are usually temporary solutions until custody is formally established.
What evidence do I need to overturn an emergency custody order?
In order to overturn an emergency custody order, you must provide proof that either the court has made a mistake in granting the order or that your child is no longer in danger and can safely return home. This may include medical documents, police reports study evaluations and other forms of evidence showing how the situation has changed since the emergency order was granted. It is important to note that you should file your motion as soon as possible in order to increase your chances of getting a positive outcome.
The good news is how to overturn an emergency custody order is totally possible, with the right steps and evidence. File a motion to overturn the current arrangement to demonstrate how your environment would be better for your child. You may also wish to negotiate an amicable agreement with your former partner in regards to temporary custody arrangements.
Remember, if you are able to prove that your child is at risk in their current living environment, you may be able to suspend the emergency order until a formal motion seeking its reversal has been filed. In any case, it’s always best to consult with a qualified attorney before taking legal action and ensure that you have the best chances of regaining custody of your child.