Temporary Child Custody

Separating parents may often not be able to decide on child custody immediately and may require temporary child custody. In such cases parents may consider arranging for temporary child custody from the family court. Temporary child custody is a court’s decision to award physical custody of a child to one parent until a final decision on child custody can be reached.

A temporary child custody case commences when one of the parents makes a child custody application with the court. The temporary child custody application will set out the parent’s reasons on why they should be awarded custody of the child. The court may appoint a lawyer to act on the child’s behalf and represent the child’s interest before they issue a temporary custody order.

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How to get temporary child custody

Temporary child custody may be needed when parents are unable to decide who the child resides with whilst the family disputes can be settled. As the name suggests this is a temporary measure until child contact arrangements and child custody can be agreed. When looking to obtain temporary child custody, parents have two options. Obtaining temporary child custody without going to court or obtain a temporary child custody order via the family court.

How to get temporary child custody without going to court

It is possible for parents to arrange temporary custody without court by agreeing temporary child custody amongst themselves. Some parents may also be giving temporary custody of their child to the other parent whilst they resolve certain issues such as living arrangements or other issues during which time it may not be possible for the child to live with them.

Temporary custody, without a court order, does not mean that the parent who does not have temporary custody will lose their child. As there is no formal custody order the parent can approach the court if the other parent refuses to give back custody. Emergency and temporary custody are different, as temporary custody maybe given to any one at any time. The main difference between emergency and temporary custody is that in an emergency custody action is needed to be taken immediately due to emergency situations whereas giving temporary custody may not necessarily be due to an emergency but other factors.

How to get temporary child custody by going to court?

In order to get temporary child custody by going to court a parent will need to complete the C100 court form. This form will require the parent making an application to accurately complete details of the child, themselves and the other parent in question. The parent making an application for temporary child custody will also need to provide reasons suggesting why they are seeking temporary child custody.

The parent applying will also need to show they have attended a meeting about mediation first. At Kabir Family Law, our child specialists can provide you with assistance on attending mediation and completing the temporary custody application form. Contact our family lawyers in Fulham today to see how we can help.

Once the C100 application is complete 3 copies of the form will need to be sent to the nearest family court together with the application fee of £215.00. Once the courts have received the application, they will list the matter for an initial hearing in which they will consider the application and if appropriate make a temporary custody order.

When a temporary child custody order is considered by going to the court the courts will consider 2 areas of child custody. These are the legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody is the right to make major decisions about the child’s health, welfare and education. Legal custody is shared equally by both parents, unless the court believes giving one parent sole legal custody would be in the child’s best interests. On the other hand, physical custody determines which parent the child will live with.

What factors does the court take into account when giving temporary custody?

All child matters are based around the child and the temporary custody order will only be made if it is in the best interest and welfare of a child.

Whilst considering the best interests of the child the courts will take into consideration the child’s physical and emotional needs. The courts will also consider whether the child is already in a stable home and whether it would be appropriate to remove a child from a stable home unless there are concerns regarding the child’s safety and health which trumps that principle.

How fast can I get a temporary child custody order?

There is no set timescale as to how long a court will take before giving temporary custody. Once an application has been submitted to the family court, a hearing date will be listed in which the courts will consider making a temporary custody order. If however the matter is urgent then the courts can list the matter as soon as possible or an emergency order can be applied for which will be discussed below in detail.

How long do temporary custody orders last?

As suggested by the name temporary custody orders do not last forever. Quite often parents apply for temporary custody orders when they are undergoing divorce and would like to obtain custody of the child until a final decision can be made. The temporary custody order will therefore last whilst a divorce is proceeding or until a final decision is made. Temporary custody orders however do carry weight when the court decides on permanent child custody.

What to do before trying to get temporary child custody?

Before trying to get child custody a parent should consider whether there is a need for this. Removing a child from a stable home environment can sometimes have negative effect on a child and may slow their development.

If a parent feels getting temporary child custody is in the child’s best interests, then they should try communicating with the other parent first. Child disputes can often be settled without going to court. If however the other parent is not co-operative then legal advice can be sought. Child lawyers can often discuss your matter in detail and advise you on the prospects of this matter. They can also assist you in obtaining mediation and completing an application to the family court if a decision on temporary child custody cannot be reached.

What is the difference between emergency and temporary custody?

Emergency and temporary custody may seem similar. However temporary custody is obtained where the divorce proceedings are ongoing or where the parents are not able to reach a decision on who will have custody of the child. In such a situation until the court reaches a decision temporary custody is awarded. In contrast an emergency custody is one which is applied in situations of emergency which usually carry imminent threats. There must be valid grounds for emergency custody to granted.

How long does it take to get before an emergency family court?

An emergency custody hearing is heard on the same day as the application is made and is also known as an abridged hearing. Such hearing is usually without notice to the other parent. In situations of emergency the judge will make an interim order. The court will then list the matter for a further hearing in which the other parent will be able to defend themselves against any allegations which are made.

What are the grounds for emergency custody?

Often circumstances of parents change in which it might become necessary to make an application for emergency child custody. An emergency family court hearing could result in a non-custodial parent securing an emergency custody. In such cases the parent who is applying to the emergency family court will need to show there are grounds for emergency custody. The grounds for emergency custody are:

  1. There is a significant risk of harm to a child
  2. There is a risk that a child will be unlawfully taken away from UK, or
  3. If the child is currently outside of the UK they may be unlawfully held.

The grounds for emergency custody  of significant risk of harm to a child covers situations where one child is injured under the care of one parent or the custodial parent abuses the child or is involved in drug and alcohol abuse which all could cause significant harm to the child. An emergency custody order could also be applied where one parent has taken the child and is failing to return the child.

Will an emergency custody lawyers help me with grounds for temporary child custody?

Emergency custody lawyers will often be utilised to make an urgent application and assist in preparing and attending an emergency family court hearing. Emergency lawyers will also be able to advise on the prospects of your case and advise whether you satisfy the grounds for emergency custody. They will also be able to consider your situation and with their experience confirm whether the courts are likely to view the matter as an emergency.

If the matter is not deemed to be one of emergency, then the courts will require you to arrange mediation before applying to the court. Emergency custody lawyers will also be able to help you with your application and mediation if the matter does not constitute and emergency.

What should I have prepared ready for an emergency custody lawyer before contacting them?

Before contacting an emergency custody lawyer you should ensure you have all information about yourself, your child and the other parent. You will also need to have clear reasons for believing the situation is one of emergency.

When you contact an emergency custody lawyer you will need to provide the information mentioned above. The emergency custody lawyer will then review this information with you and advise you whether the courts are likely to consider your situation as being one of emergency in nature. If so you would need to complete the court application form with details of yourself, your child and the other parent.

You will also need to ensure you have evidence and documents which confirm your matter is of emergency. This could be any images you have which may suggest the other parent is abusive and harmful. Text messages and emails could also be used to show your situation is urgent.

You will also need to ensure you have availability as you will need to go to your nearest family court with your application. Given the nature of an emergency hearing your matter will usually be heard on the same day.

Do I need to attend the emergency family court?

As a parent who is making an application for emergency custody you will need to attend the emergency family court. Given that the matter is urgent you may need to take your application to the court and hand submit the same. The matter will also be heard on the same day so it is important you are available to present your evidence.

In extreme circumstances where your life is in danger or you are at serious risk of harm to you and your child, you may be excused. In such a situation you will need to ensure your emergency custody lawyer is able to attend or arrange for someone to represent you.

Arrange a free initial consultation today

If you are a parent concerned about the welfare of your child or would like more information on emergency and temporary custody then contact us today on 0330 094 5880 to discuss your options or let us call you back.