Originally Posted by jstpmm
If one party asks the court for an emergency custody hearing, does the other party get notice of it? Is the other party able to contest it?
Yes, of course, if you're asking for a hearing that will restrict one parent's access to his children, he will be entitled to know about the hearing and to defend his parental rights, in court. I'm sure you're very upset with him, or even scared. But surely you wouldn't want "the system" to allow HIM to terminate YOUR access to your kids, without you knowing anything about his request or being able to tell the court your side of the story. He's entitled to the same rights.
Depending on the circumstances, you might convince a judge to give you a temporary ex parte
order (i.e., an order issued without giving the other party a chance to present their side). But that would only be because the court cannot arrange a hearing before the intercession that you've requested. When the court can schedule a hearing, he'll be allowed to present his case.
If you're afraid of seeing him in or around the court, you can ask for protection. But you can't keep him from presenting his side of the story, at all.
If you think there's a good reason to keep your kids away from him, but you don't think you can come up with convincing "proof", consider asking for a custody evaluation. That will usually entail both parents having to take a personality test (which may illuminate concerns about him, in a more factual, scientific-sounding way than you just saying, "He's crazy!"). It should also entail a professional meeting with the child and both parents, separately and with the child, to observe everyone's interactions with each other, and to allow the professional to interview all the parties. Courts aren't required
to follow evaluators' recommendations, but they often do.
If the problem is that you don't know how to contact the other party, check what the rules are where you live. There may be a certain length of time you must run an ad in the local paper, before the court will accept you've made a reasonable attempt to notify him of your request to restrict or terminate his access to his kids.
If you're afraid your ex will get an order restricting YOUR access to the kids, without your knowledge...as long as you can reasonably prove that he knows where you live or how to contact you, then if he does get an order, you can easily contest it, by explaining that you were not properly served.