Custody Emergencies and How to Avoid Them
Don’t wait for a custody emergency to call a lawyer. What are some of the signs that an emergency custody situation is brewing?
- Your ex is growing increasingly uncommunicative and unpredictable.
- You frequently do not know your child’s whereabouts when with the other parent.
- Your ex threatens to “disappear” or never let you see your child again.
- You and your ex do not have a written, court-ordered, custody arrangement.
Emergencies are very, very difficult to remedy; they are nearly impossible to address quickly. To address an emergency, a lawyer to drop everything and address the urgency first. The lawyer will need time (hours and possibly days) to work up the emergency case. This includes drafting paperwork, researching applicable law, and contacting with the Court to address and explain the emergency situation.
While law enforcement, DFCS, and the Courts are there to protect you, their systems are slow. There is no “911” solution for emergency custody issues. The local Sherifff’s department can come to your house and take a report, but they typically cannot instigate a statewide search for your child if you can’t even prove your custody rights. DFCS has protocols in place to respond to complaints within DAYS, not minutes or hours. The Courts are closed on nights and weekends. Your local county Superior Court does not have a judge “on call” ready, willing, and able to run to your rescue.
The best solution is to avoid emergencies. If you sense trouble brewing, call an experienced custody lawyer and set up a consultation. Get good advice for what to do now or when and if trouble arises. Don’t wait until it’s too late and you’re left frantically Google-ing lawyers in hopes of finding one that is immediately available to run to the courthouse with her hair on fire.