Do You Need to File an Emergency Child Custody Modification in San Diego?
This is the next post in my series discussing how San Diego residents can modify an existing California child custody order. My last post briefly touched on upcoming topics as well as explained the grounds needed to modify a child custody order in California. In this post I will be discussing when it is appropriate for San Diego residents to file for an emergency change in custody.
California Courts may issue an immediate change of child custody if the children are in danger
A change in circumstance must have occurred since your last custody order, in order to file for a modification. These can sometimes be positive changes such as a parent gaining more favorable work hours. However, there are unfortunate circumstances in which a non-custodial parent must request a change of custody due to poor choices made by the custodial parent. In these circumstances the Court can immediately grant an emergency change and expedite the case so that a Judge may hear arguments from both sides as to whether the change should be permanent.
A common reason for an emergency custody hearing is if one parent is abusing or neglecting the children. This may be due to substance abuse, poor parenting skills, or mental health difficulties. If there is proof that the children are in danger then a California Judge will often grant an immediate, and temporary, change in custody. If a dangerous situation exists then it is also important for the non-custodial parent to contact both the police and Child Protective Services. Having a record of doing everything necessary to protect your children will become of the utmost importance during your request for a permanent custody change. If you observe signs of abuse in your children- such as unexplained bruises, signs of malnourishment, or they report mistreatment- it is important to take action and contact a child custody lawyer right away.
How to prepare for an emergency child custody hearing in San Diego
A San Diego Judge will wish to see actual proof of danger if you are requesting an emergency change of child custody. If you have evidence of abuse such as medical records or photographs then it is important that you provide such evidence to your attorney. If there is legitimate evidence of a dangerous situation then the Judge has several options. He may order both parents to undergo a psychological evaluation, he may order the child into therapy, he may order the accused parent into a drug treatment program, or he may order the accused parent to take parenting classes. A trial date will be set, and the accused parent will have the opportunity to present evidence that any issue that was present before has been resolved. The accusing parent will then have the opportunity to present evidence as to why the new custody arrangement should be made permanent.
If your children are in danger, and you need an emergency change in custody, take action immediately. Contact local law enforcement if this is an emergency. Then call our San Diego child custody lawyers for assistance in filling emergency documents.