Things to Know About Emergency Child Custody Orders
Florida, like all states, have laws that protect children from dangerous situations. These situations are unfortunately many. A parent could kidnap a child, or abuse or neglect their child. Sometimes, both parents are deemed incapacitated or they may both suddenly pass away. In any of these unfortunate situations, and more, an adult may petition the court for an emergency child custody order to place the child in temporary care. What are these orders in Florida, and who can ask for one? You’ll find the answers to these questions pertaining to emergency child custody orders, and more, below.
What is an Emergency Child Custody Order?
Emergency child custody orders are covered under The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act, or the UCCJEA. All states, with the exception of Massachusetts, follow this law. This Act not only governs the rules for child custody, but they also determine the jurisdiction of the court that has the right to issue an emergency child custody order.
For example, a parent may wish to leave their home state for the welfare of their child, such as if the other parent is abusing them. Under the UCCJEA, that parent must file for child custody in the state they’ve lived for at least six months. However, the UCCJEA also states that if a parent has had to leave their home state with their child for safety reasons, the courts in the new location may issue an emergency child custody order until a more permanent solution can be reached.
Court Hearings and Emergency Child Custody Orders
Parents aren’t always forced to leave their home state, even though they may still fear for a child’s safety. When this is the case, they can still go to the court in their local county and ask for an emergency child custody order. Whether or not you’ll need to appear in court will depend on the laws for your particular county. The court may then issue an emergency child custody order, without the need for the other parent to appear in court.
Who can File for an Emergency Child Custody Order?
Many people think only parents can file for emergency child custody orders. However, this is not true. There are times when parents become incapacitated or disabled, and can no longer care for their children.
When this is the case, or when someone else recognizes that the child is being abused or neglected, they can take immediate action. The wrongdoing should first be reported to the Florida Department of Children and Families. Then, the individual can petition the court for an emergency child custody order the same way a parent would.
It’s important to understand, particularly in the case of a non-parent petitioning for an order, that the court’s goal is to one day reunite the child with their parents. A judge may order a substance abuse treatment program and upon successful completion, return the child to live with their parents.
Need an Emergency Child Custody Order? Call Our Florida Family Attorneys
If you think a child is in danger, it’s important to take the necessary action right away. However, you shouldn’t do it without the help of a Tampa family law attorney. At All Family Law Group, we will guide you through the process and help you obtain a temporary order as quickly as possible. Contact the Tampa divorce attorneys and family lawyers at All Family Law Group, P.A. in Tampa Bay for a consultation at no charge.