How to File for Temporary Custody in California?

The family law courts in California are generally not in the business of making hasty decisions.  In fact, whenever possible, they let the parties in a divorce or child custody case decide matters between themselves and then sign a court order to make the couple’s decision official. This can take the form of finalizing an uncontested divorce or summary dissolution, but more often it means referring a divorcing couple to mediation to resolve issues of property division and parenting time. When divorce or child custody cases go to trial, the parties have an opportunity to present witness testimony and other evidence to persuade the court to grant their requests.  

Divorce cases that go to trial can take months, or even years, to resolve, though. Sometimes the court must order the parties to do certain things or refrain from doing certain things while the case is pending. For example, the court might order one spouse to pay temporary alimony, or it might issue a temporary parenting plan, to be replaced with a different one upon finalization of the divorce. If you have evidence that your current parenting plan places your children in danger while they are with your ex, you can petition the court to issue an emergency custody order. To find out more, contact a Whittier child custody lawyer.

Reasons to File for a Temporary Custody Order

The court will grant an emergency temporary custody order if your children are in danger of being removed from California or are in danger of immediate harm. While the law does not give a specific definition of “immediate harm,” case law has interpreted it to mean that they are in danger of experiencing physical violence or sexual abuse if they are in the custody of your ex-spouse. If police are called to your ex’s house because of domestic violence when your children are present, this is a compelling reason to get an emergency custody order. You also have a strong case for getting an emergency custody order if your ex gets arrested for DUI while your children are in the car.

Getting the emergency custody order takes only a short time. You must only submit forms FL-300, FL-305, and MC-030. You can download them from your county court’s website or go to the courthouse and fill out the forms there. The court will then schedule a hearing, and it is your responsibility to have a process server serve your ex with notice of the hearing.

What Happens After the Court Grants Temporary Custody

When the court grants the temporary custody order, your custody case is just beginning. When a court restricts a parent’s parenting time, the measure is meant to be temporary. Once the temporary order has been granted, the parties and their lawyers must move forward to agree on a new parenting plan that serves the children’s best interests.

Contact the Law Offices of Omar Gastelum About Temporary Custody Orders

A family law attorney can help you if you are worried that your children are in danger when they are with your ex-spouse. Contact the Law Offices of Omar Gastelum and Associates APLC in Whittier, California to set up a consultation.