Understanding Emergency Custody


In any case involving child custody or child support, Arkansas courts will use the child’s best interests as the basis for every decision. Once a divorce has been finalized, the courts will have issued orders on matters like division of property, child support, custody, and alimony if applicable. While these are technically final decisions, circumstances can always change in the lives of divorced parents or their children — making it necessary to change the order.

Factors like job loss, changing work schedules, relocation, injury or illness, and other major changes can influence the modification of a custody order. Unfortunately, sometimes new developments can put the children at risk or disrupt their life in significant ways.

That’s where an emergency custody order can be necessary to protect children. When a child is in immediate danger — even outside the context of marriage or divorce — the court can quickly issue an order to change the child’s living situation and keep them safe.

If your child is in immediate danger because of their legal custodian, an ex parte emergency custody order will set up a fast plan for the child’s care instead of having to wait weeks or months for a court case to resolve.

In what situations can you get an emergency custody order?

You must prove to the court that your child’s health or physical well-being is in danger. The court will need enough evidence that there is probable cause to believe these risks are present with your child.

What can the order actually do?

The most obvious use of the emergency custody order is that it removes your child from the custody of a problematic parent, guardian, or custodian. It can also transfer custody to you temporarily and put safeguards in place to protect your child. For example, the order can prevent the other parent from having any contact with your child and prohibit him/her from taking the child away from your home.

How does the process work?

In a nutshell, your lawyer will file a motion for emergency custody with the court. The motion will include the details of your case, including specifics about the dangers to your child in the custody arrangement. If the judge grants an order in your favor, it will take effect immediately, and everyone involved in the order will receive a notice explaining the details of your petition. The notice must include the details of a hearing to be held within a few business days from the date the emergency order was issued.

If your child is at risk, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible. The OMG Law Firm will argue aggressively for your right to keep your child safe. We will also explain your options thoroughly and help you choose the best course of action. Call our law firm to discuss your custody issues with an experienced and compassionate attorney.

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At the OMG Law Firm, we take pride in our client-focused approach — the people who walk through our doors are more than just clients to us. They are families going through difficult changes, business owners in search of more room to grow, and injured workers looking to plan out the next stages of their lives.

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