The court system moves slowly, as a general rule. In most situations, this is nothing more than an inconvenience. But when it comes to a child’s safety, speed matters. Fortunately, Alabama law allows the court to grant emergency custody in extreme situations.
The decision to file for emergency custody should not be taken lightly. It is only granted when a child has been abandoned or abused. Threatened abuse or mistreatment is also grounds for emergency custody. So, how do you file for emergency custody in Alabama if your child is in danger?
When Can You Get Emergency Custody?
Emergency custody is available when a child is in imminent danger in their current living situation. You can get emergency custody for a variety of reasons, including:
- Physical abuse
- Sexual abuse
- Threats to the child
- Substance abuse in front of the child
Because emergency custody is only granted in true emergencies, you need more than a reason to petition the court. You need proof that your child is truly in danger or has been abandoned. This evidence can include witnesses, photos, videos, and/or police reports. Even text messages or other written communications can be used as evidence.
How Do You Request an Emergency Custody Hearing in Alabama?
To get emergency full custody of your child, you must request a hearing with a judge. This involves filing petition paperwork with the court, which will grant you an emergency hearing if it is warranted.
During the hearing, you must have proof that your child is in danger, or the judge will not grant you emergency custody. Only the issues that prompted the emergency hearing will be discussed, even if there are other custody concerns in the case.
It’s important to note that even if you are granted emergency full custody, it doesn’t mean the matter is settled. Temporary custody is granted for a specific amount of time until a full trial can take place.
Do You Need an Attorney to Get Emergency Custody?
If you think your child is in danger, it’s important to file for emergency custody as quickly as possible. Because this is a high-stakes legal matter, it’s important to seek help from an experienced attorney. This can improve your chances of a successful outcome as your lawyer will be familiar with the filing process and skilled in litigation.
To get help from our Birmingham family law attorneys, call us at (205) 858-9224. We can help you file for emergency custody to protect your children.