Custody cases are naturally difficult, and arguably the most emotional part of family law. Both parties will have their arguments for why they are the better parent. These cases, however, can become especially complicated when serious allegations are involved. Emergency custody in Greenville, SC can alter the course of a custody case and have significant repercussions for parents and children. A Greenville, SC child custody attorney can assist you and make sure your child is protected.
It’s important to remember that the top priority of a judge in a custody case is the child’s best interest. This is especially true when it comes to allegations that rise to the level of an emergency. Children cannot help themselves, nor are they trusted to understand what is in their best interests. If something poses an immediate danger to the child, that is all the more reason for the court to act. Should you suspect an emergency situation, you may need to alert authorities first. As soon as you are able, however, contact your Greenville, SC child custody attorney.
There is no comprehensive list of circumstances that constitute an emergency situation. Like most things in family law, Greenville judges have to consider each custody matter on a case by case basis. However, these are some issues that in the past have been considered to be an emergency:
- Physical or sexual abuse of a child
- Neglect or abandonment of a child
- A parent who is dating or otherwise involved with a sex offender
- A parent who is engaged in reckless or dangerous behavior (e.g. driving while intoxicated with the child)
- A parent’s drug or alcohol abuse
- Criminal behavior on the part of the other parent or a member of his or her household
- Domestic violence
- Threats of violence
As mentioned above, depending on the circumstances, you may need to alert authorities. Then, as appropriate, let your Greenville, SC attorney know what is going on.
Your attorney will prepare an emergency motion to present to the court and get you in front of a judge. To the extent you have evidence, that should be included with your motion, along with supporting affidavits. There are shortened notice requirements for emergency cases. However, it is always best to let an experienced Greenville, SC custody attorney handle the matter for you.
At the hearing, the judge will review the evidence and determine whether the child is in immediate danger. If the court finds that there are emergency circumstances, then an order will be issued. In many cases that order will transfer custody to the other parent. Remember, however, that emergency custody orders are generally only temporary. You should work with your attorney on steps to take after an order is entered or denied.
Unfortunately, many parents file frivolous or baseless emergency motions. This often happens out of sheer ignorance of what an emergency actually is. But in too many cases, parents use these motions to harass or punish the other parent. If you are being unfairly targeted in an emergency matter, let your Greenville, SC custody attorney know. There may be remedies available to punish the other parent or his or her attorney for filing a baseless motion.
Lastly, there are certain scenarios where emergency custody in Greenville, SC can become even more complex. One of these is where there are interstate issues (where the child or parents are in different states). Also, if the Department of Social Services (DSS) gets involved, an emergency can become especially difficult. There are numerous other ways to complicate emergency issues, and it’s always best to involve an attorney.
Contact Our Law Firm for Help With Emergency Child Custody in Greenville, SC
Whether your case involves emergency allegations or not, child custody is a serious matter. There are potentially life-altering consequences to what a court will decide. That demands the level of attention and experience that Greenville Family Law can provide. Give us a call today to discuss your matter and schedule a consultation.