Understanding Ex Parte Custody Orders

Aug 17, 2021 Child Custody

An ex parte custody order gives temporary emergency custody to one parent based solely on their testimony when that testimony alleges that a child is in danger in the other parent’s care. Ex parte orders are usually heard and decided without ever giving notice to the other parent, meaning that a judge can order that your child be taken from you without ever even notifying you that it’s in motion. Usually, after an ex parte order has been issued, a child will be collected by law enforcement and delivered to the parent holding the order. Whether you are a parent who believes you need temporary custody of your child because they may be in danger, or you’re a parent who believes they have wrongly been served with an ex parte order, an Irvine child custody attorney at our firm can help.

Why Ex Parte Orders are Used

In a routine custody proceeding, a judge will hear both sides of an argument before making a decision on who a child should live with or who should have custody over their major life decisions. However, in dire circumstances, the court reasons that allowing both sides to voice their version of events might not be ideal. That’s especially true in situations in which one parent believes that their child is in danger.

The ex parte order was created by the court to remedy this situation. An ex parte order allows one party to a custody battle to testify and convince the judge that they deserve temporary emergency custody. These hearings are often carried out without the other party’s knowledge because alerting them that it is ongoing might prompt them to flee with the child, making the situation that much more dire.

Of course, one concern with ex parte orders is that they might be abused by a spouse with dubious or devious motives. Unfortunately, the court will usually err on the side of caution and grant this order in the event that the spouse is telling the truth. However, if the court finds that the spouse acted out of malice, they will surely be penalized as the custody hearing battle continues to unfold.

How to Get an Ex Parte Order and What It Entails

Usually, if you call for an emergency hearing to argue for temporary emergency custody of your child, you should expect to be able to offer some proof of abuse. Whether you believe there is physical, emotional, or sexual abuse, you will need to supply some evidence of its occurrence. 

Once granted, an ex parte order will likely prevent the other parent from:

  • Traveling out of state with the child
  • Interfering in their education
  • Act in any way that interferes with the child’s best interest

Contact an Irvine Child Custody Attorney to Learn More

Are you concerned about your child’s well-being in the care of your former spouse? An Irvine child custody attorney at our firm can help. Contact our office today.