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When can a parent gain a temporary custody order?

If a child's home state is North Carolina, a judge may give a parent a temporary custody order if a substantial risk is present in the child's current situations. This could include risk of bodily injury or sexual abuse, and it can even include a risk that somebody may abduct or remove the child from the state. This temporary order can only last for a limited time until the court has a full custody hearing.

If the home state is not North Carolina but the parent and child are both within the state, the parent could file for a temporary custody order when the other parent has abandoned the child or anybody has threatened or subjected the child, a sibling or a parent to abuse. In many cases, a parent can request temporary custody as part of a domestic violence protective order.

Temporary custody from a domestic violence protective order can only last for a year until it expires. Even if the parent renews the protective order, the parent cannot renew the custody provision with it. The court will consider any history of abuse against or around the child along with any fear that the child or parent may have.

As with any custody issue, the court makes the final decision based on multiple factors. The court will only grant temporary custody in emergency situations to save the child from imminent danger; otherwise, the court must hold a full hearing to consider all other factors. Since every situation is different, an attorney's advice can be extremely valuable.

Source: Womens' Law, "Can I get an emergency order for temporary custody?", November 13, 2014

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