Emergency Custody Question - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 09-24-2010, 04:37 PM - Thread Starter
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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?
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#2 of 8 Old 09-24-2010, 07:27 PM
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I assume it depends on where you live... my ex-in-laws did this over access. I got about 7 days notice, there was no need to respond, but I was able to contest it in person. The judge made a temporary order for between then and the hearing date.

~Teresa, raising DS (Jan. 02) and DD1 (Jun. 04) and DD2 (Dec. 11) with DH.

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#3 of 8 Old 09-24-2010, 07:34 PM
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i think in my state you can tell them that it would harmful for the other party to know about it. but you have to have a good reason.


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#4 of 8 Old 09-24-2010, 10:11 PM
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Originally Posted by jstpmm View Post
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.

One woman in a house full of men:  my soul mate:    or... twin sons:(HS seniors) ... step-son:  (a sophomore) ... our little man:   (a first grader) ... and there is another female in the house, after all:  our
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#5 of 8 Old 09-25-2010, 12:39 PM
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Get a lawyer. Seriously. Whatever is going on here, you are obviously worried enough to be considering drastic legal action, and YOU NEED AN EXPERT ADVOCATE.

If you worry that your children may be abducted or otherwise forcibly removed from your custody, then talk to their school to put them on the alert, and don't live alone with them. Find a friend or relative to join your household until there is a custody order in place - a third party who can bear witness to an abduction attempt. Or you join their household.

Don't be with your ex alone. Any talking that needs to be done prior to the custody issue being settled (i.e. any threats he'd like to make) can take place in front of your lawyer or other reliable witnesses.

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#6 of 8 Old 09-25-2010, 12:53 PM
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I'll add to what Smithie sad. GET A LAWYER. I know they're expensive. Trust me I know, I'm in debt for having to pay mine - but she was worth every single penny I gave her and more. Truly, she was WORTH it.

As far as conversing with your ex - have him contact your lawyer. You're lawyer can then contact you and advise you of what he said, and then advise you how to respond. Then your lawyer can respond on your behalf. It is SO MUCH EASIER, and will de-escalate the situation.

Another way of getting temp custody is to get a restraining order against your ex and list the children (if you qualify for one - ask a lawyer). Be careful of doing this b/c if it could even LOOK like you are being vindictive, don't do it. Get a restraining order (or order of protection if its in family court) for yourself, but not the children. You can also get limited ones that don't exclude him from speaking to you or the children, but that limit the types of behavior he can exhibit towards you - he violates it, you call the police and he gets arrested.
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#7 of 8 Old 09-25-2010, 12:55 PM
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In Texas, they do not. It is horrible and unfair and has been in the news over this. Someone, anyone, even a nonparent, can go to court and claim to need an emergency court order for custody, say anything they want, and the parent(s) are given no notice until it is all over when they are served with papers and their child(ren) are ripped from their arms. The news article gave several examples of people whose lives have been ripped a part by this.
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#8 of 8 Old 09-26-2010, 12:18 AM
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Wow, Lisa. That's a nightmare

Much as it sucks for an abuse victim to have to openly take a step that will increase her risk of being hurt or killed, if the other option is that Texas scenario... then what can we do?
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