Temporary custody refers to where the child will be allowed to reside from when you begin litigation for sole or joint custody. The first step you will take in your custody case is to file a request for temporary custody. This will be decided by the court, like any other court-ordered custodial arrangement, based on the best interests of the child. To be clear, this is NOT an initial award of custody, but rather is a short-term arrangement so that the child has a set place to live while you wait for the court to begin hearings on the ultimate disposition of custody.
The goal of a temporary custody decision is to immediately create some semblance of stability in the child’s life. Legally, this decision is to have no impact on the final custody decision. But in reality, the situation is not nearly so ideal.
A party may ask the court for a temporary parenting arrangement if there is a pending claim for custody. It is in the judge’s sole discretion as to whether the claim justifies an award of temporary custody. The party seeking a temporary child custody order may use an ex parte motion to obtain a temporary custody order if it is an emergency situation where the child is at risk or if the other parent is planning to leave the state to avoid jurisdiction. An ex parte motion is often heard by the judge without notice to or argument from the adverse party. However, ex parte motions for emergency custody should only be used in real emergencies and should not be used to gain leverage in a custody case.
The general rule is that no testimony is taken at the temporary relief hearing. Rather, the Court decides the issues of temporary custody, etc., on the basis of parties’ respective motions and affidavits, and on the arguments of counsel made at the hearing. It is extremely important to take the time at this stage to get affidavits and documentation from as many people as possible who have relevant knowledge.
While temporary custody agreements are only temporary, they are exceedingly important because they often have a significant impact on your permanent custody agreement. Don’t let the word temporary fool you into thinking that you can just sacrifice your rights to your children for now and get them back later. Temporary child custody orders often have significant impact on your permanent or final custody arrangement, so it’s very important for you to ensure you and your attorney either negotiate a custody schedule that you are satisfied with, or if you are unable to reach an agreement, you should consider fighting for more custody at this early stage.
The first priority of the California courts is to protect the involved children. If neither parent can ensure the safety and well-being of their children, outside resources will be called upon for assistance. Temporary custody offers a legal safety zone that protects the children, both parents’ rights, and institutes necessary boundaries that help resolve the larger issues.
When certain problems arise that put the health and well-being of a child in danger, certain precautions need to be taken immediately. When emergency temporary custody issues arise in Sacramento, it is essential that legal assistance is sought, so that all of the problems that surround an emergency situation can be effectively resolved.
In the case of child support modifications, the loss of a job, the evolving needs of growing children, and other events can bring about the need to make changes in the amount of child support after a divorce. If you feel that your financial situation has changed significantly and that a modification is in order, our attorneys will work hard to achieve a workable solution for all concerned.
The Child Support Modification Lawyers of Bowman & Associates help clients across California from their offices in Sacramento and Folsom. If you or someone you know has legal questions regarding family law, contact our experienced attorneys for a free initial consultation. We can help!