Should You Request an Ex Parte Child Custody Order?

Child custody agreements usually require lengthy, emotionally charged discussions, especially if the two parents are attempting mediation. It’s important to carefully think through every issue that might affect the children, but sometimes, the question of the child’s custody is an emergency situation. This is why judges sometimes issue ex parte child custody orders. Your attorney can review your case to determine if it’s appropriate for you to request this order.

Understanding Ex Parte Child Custody Orders

Ex parte orders are rarely issued. Their purpose is to protect children from a credible risk of harm. Judges can issue these orders based on evidence and arguments provided by only one of the parents. The reasoning behind this is that giving the other parent time to respond to a notice to appear before the court might place the children in harm’s way, or give the defendant parent time to flee with the children. Ex parte child custody orders are temporary (usually for 2-3 weeks), pending the final order issued by the judge.

Identifying the Grounds for Ex Parte Orders

It’s to be expected that separated or divorced parents wouldn’t get along well with each other, and sometimes, contentiousness can turn into outright hostility. But as long as the children aren’t in harm’s way, unfriendly interactions between the two parents aren’t grounds for an ex parte order. Your child custody lawyer will ask you some questions about your ex and the children’s living conditions to determine if there is a basis to file this petition. These questions might include:

  • Has your ex ever threatened to hit the children?
  • Has she ever thrown objects at the children?
  • Do you have any evidence that your ex would flee the state or country with the kids?
  • Are the children denied adequate shelter or food?
  • If they are young, are the kids left at home by themselves?
  • Does your ex have a substance abuse problem?

A past substance abuse problem might not be enough to obtain an ex parte order. Your attorney will need to demonstrate that there is a real threat of imminent harm if the kids are left with the other parent.

When you become a client at Singer & Associates, you’ll receive all the legal guidance you need to make family law decisions. Our law firm in Sacramento, CA provides aggressive litigation to uphold the rights of fathers across the state. You can reach us at (916) 922-5985.

The information presented in this article should not be construed to be formal legal advice by Singer & Associate Law Office, or the formation of a lawyer/client relationship. Because of the changing nature of this area of the law and the importance of individual facts, readers are encouraged to seek independent counsel for advice regarding their individual legal issues.

Categories: Child Custody


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