In Indiana, the law provides a way for emergency custody determinations. These are temporary orders that will be resolved in a permanent basis during the divorce. In the meantime, children may require special consideration. Generally, parents are able to come to an agreement regarding where the child will reside and how decisions will be made for the children until the divorce is finalized. However, there are some circumstances that require immediate attention by the court.
There are a limited number of circumstances that allow for emergency custody action to be taken through the court system. An Indiana court has jurisdiction when:
The court may only take action if there is no previous court order regarding the child in any state. Other restrictions may apply. The law requires that proof be submitted as to the reason for the emergency request. An experienced divorce attorney will be able to assist in the process and will be available to answer your questions.
The court assumes that children are to spend time with both parents, unless there is a special extenuating circumstance. The threat of abuse or actual abuse which has already occurred is reason to request that one parent become the primary custodian or care provider. The court will determine what is in the best interest of the child. When a threat of abuse is made to a child, or to the child’s parent, it is taken very seriously. The child must be protected from harm in this situation. This is considered a temporary action. The final order of where the child will reside, along with a visitation plan, will be determined as part of the divorce.
Because the child is in danger of being harmed, the court will take immediate action on the temporary request. This ensures that the child will remain safe and out of danger as quickly as possible. When a temporary order is put into place, it remains so until another order is made to change it. This is usually done through the divorce proceedings. If changes are necessary prior to that time, then another hearing must be requested. Changes will be made only in situations that are of an emergency nature.
Legal help is often necessary for complex situations such as emergency orders. If a parent or child is in physical danger, take steps to remove yourself and your child from the situation immediately. Then, contact an attorney to discuss your options. It is usually best to seek a court order because this eliminates the fear that the other parent could try to visit with the child. Your attorney will review your case and assist you in making decisions that are best for you and your child. If you need legal guidance through a difficult divorce, contact The Bellinger Law Office to schedule a consultation.