nc adoption attorney

Schedule a Consultation

(Ex-Parte) Emergency Custody Lawyer Waynesville NC

family law emergency custody lawyer waynesville, nc

If you believe your child is in danger, a Motion for Emergency Custody may be what you need to keep your child safe.  Filing for emergency custody is a very serious matter. There are limited circumstances where a court will issue an emergency child custody order.  The only grounds for a court to grant an emergency child custody order are: (1) a substantial risk of bodily injury to the child; (2) a substantial risk of sexual abuse to the child; or (3) a substantial risk that the child may be abducted or removed from North Carolina for the purpose of evading the jurisdiction of the court.

The process begins with the filing of an Ex Parte Motion for Emergency Custody.  “Ex Parte” is a Latin and legal term that essentially means that the judge makes a decision upon the request of one party outside the presence of the other.  The judge will read the Ex Parte Motion for Emergency Custody and determine whether one of the three grounds has been alleged. The Ex Parte Motion for Emergency Custody must allege facts to support the contention that one of the three grounds exist.  An allegation that the child is at substantial risk of bodily injury alone and without facts will be insufficient and the motion will be denied.  

If the judge determines that one of the grounds exists, the judge will immediately issue an Ex Parte Emergency Child Custody Order which grants the petitioning party immediate legal and physical custody of the child. The same order will also either prevent or restricts the offending party’s access to the child.  Lastly, the Ex Parte Emergency Child Custody Order will set a date for a return hearing. An Ex Parte Emergency Child Custody Order is a temporary custody order.

Once the Ex Parte Emergency Child Custody Order is signed by the judge, it is filed with the clerk of the superior court, and the order must be served.  This is most often accomplished through the sheriff’s department in the county where the child resides. When appropriate, the judge can also order the sheriff to assist the petitioning party to gain physical custody of the child.

During the return hearing, the petitioning party will present evidence to support its allegations that the child was in danger.  The offending party has the opportunity during this hearing to present evidence as to why the child was not in danger. At the close of the evidence, the judge will make a ruling.  If the judge believes that the child was at either: (1) a substantial risk of bodily injury to the child; (2) a substantial risk of sexual abuse to the child; or (3) a substantial risk that the child may be abducted or removed from North Carolina for the purpose of evading the jurisdiction of the court, the judge will issue a temporary custody order.  The temporary custody order will set forth visitation for the offending party if the court believes that such visitation would be in the child’s best interest.  

If the court does not find that the child was at either: (1) a substantial risk of bodily injury to the child; (2) a substantial risk of sexual abuse to the child; or (3) a substantial risk that the child may be abducted or removed from North Carolina for the purpose of evading the jurisdiction of the court, the initial Ex Parte Emergency Child Custody Order is dissolved.  Once dissolved, the parties revert back to the custodial arrangement which existed before the filing of the Ex Parte Motion for Emergency Custody. If there was not a custody order in place prior to the entry of the Ex Parte Order for Emergency Custody, then more often than not, the party who had the child last will likely be the custodial parent until the initial determination of child custody hearing.  Since the initial determination of child custody hearing could be months away, it may be most beneficial for the parties and the child if the parents are able to agree to a temporary child custody order which sets out the parenting schedule until the initial determination of custody hearing.
If you believe your child is in danger, or if your child has been taken by someone who believed that the child was in danger, we are here to help you.  We have represented hundreds of clients on both sides of the case in Buncombe, Haywood, Jackson, Macon and Swain County. We have a proven track record of helping our clients succeed.  We are here and ready to help you with your case. Get a free case evaluation today by filling out this contact form or, if you are ready to sit down and meet us in person, call us today for a consultation.

You should come meet us. Call us and schedule an appointment to come to our office for an in-depth and confidential case evaluation. In an in-person meeting, we are best able to come to understand your situation and help you evaluate your options. Clients who come to meet with us, tend to be very happy they did. You will not be disappointed. Our beautiful office is conveniently located just half a mile from the Haywood County Justice Center.

Call 828-452-2220 to schedule an appointment today.

You should meet with us. Schedule an appointment for an in-depth and confidential case evaluation. In a meeting, we are best able to come to understand your situation and help you evaluate your options. Clients who meet with us, tend to be very happy they did. You will not be disappointed.

Contact Jonathan

Tell Jonathan about your case

Call to schedule an in-person consultation:
828-452-2220