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How to file for Temporary Emergency Custody in New York

I am a Brooklyn, New York City attorney and my number is 718 864 2011.  Do you believe that your child is in danger while in the care of the other parent. Have you been denied access to your child by the other parent and are concerned about his or her well being? You may have grounds to apply for temporary emergency custody.

To file for temporary emergency custody you will file it by Order to Show Cause with an Affidavit and Petition for Custody attached.  You will file the application in the Family Court in the County your child resides in. In Covid times you will file the document via the EDDS filing system.  You must allege in your papers the nature of the emergency or your application will be denied. You can also file in the Supreme Court if you are filing or in the middle of a divorce.

‘When you file this application you will almost immediately see the Judge. At first this will be what is called an ex Parte application, meaning the other party is not present. The Judge will ask you why you are filing and you will need to explain in detail the purpose of your application. The Judge can do a number of things at this first appearance. First of all he/she can grant emergency interim relief. This can be a number of things including that the child be produced in Court. The Judge is unlikely to grant your request for temporary custody without the other parent present. The Judge can also deny your application but schedule a court date for the Petition of Custody you also filed.. Secondly the Judge can schedule another Court date to give the other parent an opportunity to be heard. You will have to serve the other parent with your papers, most likely personally.  Thirdly, at the follow up court date you will have the opportunity to present your arguments for temporary custody and the other parent will have the opportunity to reply. The Judge may also set it down for a more full blown hearing where evidence can be produced if need be.

‘The Court will not routinely grant these requests so it is best you hire and experienced attorney, like myself,  to make the case out for you.  I have 20 years of experience in these matters.

There are some situations where the Court will strongly consider your application. Some are as follows:

 Abuse or Neglect: Where you figure the other parent is abusing or neglecting your child the Court may consider your application.  There are various types of abuse or neglect. Some are excessive corporal punishment, educational neglect, medical neglect, untreated mental illness of the other parent, mental abuse of your child or inadequate guardianship over your child. If you believe abuse or neglect is occurring you should contact your local child protective service as well to have them investigate the matter.

Abandonment of Child:  Where other parent abandons your child with family or friends and you have no access to your child you may have grounds to file an application for temporary emergency custody. If this abandonment occurs you need to understand as a parent you have the right to custody of your child over other secondary family members or non relatives.

 Interference with Visitation: If the other parent does not let you see your child at all and you do not know wether your child is safe and have a legitimate concern for your child’s well being , you can apply.  A final order of custody can be given to a non custodial parent when the parent that has custody refuses to let the non custodial parent see the child.  The same logic can be applied for seeking a temporary order of custody.

 Parental alienation: If the other parent is poisoning your child against you by putting negative thoughts in the child’s mind about you, you may be able to file for temporary custody.

Violation of Court Order: If the custodial parent is violating a Court Order you can do two things, apply for a modification of the current custody order and also apply for a temporary order of custody.

New York is not the child’s home state: If your child has lived in New York for less than six months and the other parent has either abandoned the child or if the child is threatened with an immediate risk of neglect or abuse you can apply for the aforementioned relief in this state. Generally the “home” state of the child is where the child has resided for the past 6 months or more. You would be unable to apply for Custody in New York if it’s not the child’s home state unless the emergency circumstances mentioned above exist.

‘There may be other reasons to file for the above referenced relief. Any behavior that is not in the best interests of your child that requires an immediate response from the Court will qualify. 

‘The purpose of filing this application is to get a quick Court date. Court dates take a while to come when you file an ordinary petition for Custody and take even longer in the days of Covid. As a parent you have to consider wether the well being of your child is in danger.

Temporary Orders of Visitation: If you are unable to see your child and you believe that any of the above is happening you can also apply for a temporary Order of Visitation. This would occur when the other parent doesn’t allow you to see your child, doesn’t inform you about the child and you believe your child’s well being is in danger.  You can ask for this in addition to requesting the above referenced relief in case the Court does not grant your request. The logic behind this is that you can mitigate some of what’s happening if you see your child more.

If you want to apply for temporary emergency custody, please contact this office at 718 864 2011.




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