Temporary Emergency Custody in North Carolinaemergency custody

In today’s blog, we discuss temporary emergency custody in North Carolina. In North Carolina, Child Custody proceedings can be very time consuming and take a very long time to resolve.  Typically, there is no way to avoid that. However, there are rare instances when there is an emergency involving a minor child where things can be a little bit different.  North Carolina may take action for Temporary Emergency Custody if it would be required to keep the minor child out of immediate danger.

In this Blog, we will talk about some of the things that would may be grounds for temporary emergency custody. The biggest problem with this action typically is that there is a difference between what most of our clients think of as an emergency, versus what the court will find to actually be an emergency.  This blog will provide some basic information that will not be enough to substitute the assistance of a family law attorney.

What constitutes an emergency?

The law regarding emergency custody can be found in North Carolina General Statute 50-13.5(d)(3). According to this statute, the person moving for emergency custody must show the court that the minor child in question is in substantial risk of bodily injury or sexual abuse. If there is a substantial risk that a parent may remove the child from the state of North Carolina, in an attempt to flee the jurisdiction, this also may be grounds for temporary emergency custody.

Please note that fleeing a jurisdiction is completely different from crimes such as kidnapping or child abduction. This seems to be a common misconception. For more information on kidnapping in North Carolina or child abduction in North Carolina, click here.

What is the process for getting temporary emergency custody?

Typically, the first step in this process is to file for child custody if you haven’t already done so.  Separate from that, the parent seeking this relief files an Ex Parte motion for temporary emergency custody. This motion must include allegations and facts that state what the emergency is and how it affects the welfare of the minor child.

What is next after filing the motion for temporary emergency custody?

After your motion is filed, the judge has the power to grant an order for temporary emergency custody, pending a hearing.  Sometimes the judge will deny motion but there will still be hearing shortly after (usually in less than two weeks).

In a hearing for temporary emergency custody, both parents must be present.  The parent seeking the temporary emergency custody, has the burden to prove why the order should be granted. This can be done through testimony and other evidence.  Typically, a judge will make the decision right after the conclusion of the hearing, and both parents must abide whatever the judge orders.

Child Custody is complicated and has several elements to consider.  If you have a child custody issue in Charlotte or the surrounding areas and you need a family law attorney, contact us.  Gilles Law handles divorce, custody, child support, adoption, and other family law matters in Charlotte, North Carolina and the surrounding areas.