How to File an Emergency Temporary Custody
A grandparent’s rights in Texas.
There are ways that a grandparent can get legal possession of her grandchild, especially when the parents have disregard care.
Also, in a situation where the child is in a harmful environment, a grandparent may request temporary custody. If you need an emergency temporary custody in Texas, talk to a family attorney. Here are some steps you may take to get access and custody of your grandchildren. This is for informational purposes only.
Note that the following information is a general overview to help you stay informed about filing a motion for temporary emergency custody, the kinds of evidence gathered for the court, and what typically happens after you obtain temporary emergency custody.
What is an ’emergency’?
Think of “emergency” as “high-risk” situations. The judge wants to know that the situation is a true emergency and not an emotional grandparents trying to intervene. These types of cases forces the court to step in and and break up a family. Most times, children are separated from their parent(s) or legal guardian(s). So, what qualifies as emergency?
- Sexual abuse
- Physical abuse
- Drug abuse
- Alcohol abuse
- Child abandonment
- Extremely unsafe living space
- Extremely non-sanitary living space
The above are samples of situations that would be treated as immediate danger to a child.
What about Verbal and/or Emotional Abuse?
Verbal and emotional abuse generally require substantial evidence because they are hard to trace. Whether or not you can get possession or custody based on these types of abuse depends on the evidence. Grandparents must gather proofs such as notes from therapist, samples of how such abuses affect the child internally and behaviorally, etc. Also, look at the academic performance of the child when the parents abuses the child verbally.
Is Spanking Harmful or Abusive?
The Texas Family Code and Office of the Attorney General have more details. Spanking generally is an infliction of injury on a child; however, there are limitations on what instruments may be used, the extent of the injuries, and where the child is spanked.
If you are unsure, talk to the Department of Family and Protective Services to report an abuse.
What evidence do I need?
One of the most challenging part of the custodianship process is proving immediate danger. You must present evidence of such danger such as pictures, messages, witness statements, and e-mails. Additionally, look at affidavits and police reports of recent criminal misconduct proving
Filling out a petition for emergency custody
There are many types of custody orders that you will need to choose from, and it is best to discuss which is best with a family lawyer. Your petition serves as your motion (the terms petition and motion are interchanged frequently, much to the confusion of everyone). In Texas, it’s required to have a motion (a request) for a judge to sign an order (the thing you want to happen). We’ll get to your order in a moment.
The affidavit is a crucial element of a petition: it’s on this affidavit that you would get the chance to present a compelling argument for why the child is in immediate danger. Evidence is included with this affidavit. The clerk will request multiple copies of the affidavit.
Fill out a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) – Extraordinary Relief
A temporary restraining order is different from a protective order.
For emergency temporary custody case, the court needs to make a decision right away. This situation infringes on the constitutional right of the parents or Respondents who are entitled to a notice of a hearing. Therefore, you must attach an affidavit with the Ex Parte Order. When the Judge signs the Order, the restrictions, such as respondents not coming near the child are put in place.
Next, a Temporary Orders hearing is scheduled. During this hearing, the Respondent (parent) will have notice and adequate time to prepare to defend himself/herself.
Don’t forget to serve the other side at least three days in advance of the temporary hearing.
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