Bel Air Emergency Custody Order
When you do not have custody or do not have sole custody, you cannot simply go and take your child from the home of the custodial parent. This would be constituted as kidnapping, and you could face serious criminal charges as well as jeopardize your custodial and visitation rights in the future. Moreover, it would not solve the problem, because your child would go right back into the hands of the abusive, negligent, or dangerous parent. An emergency custody order may be necessary to save your child from harm.
Maryland Temporary Emergency Custody Hearings are For True Emergencies Only
Under statute § 9.5-204, a temporary emergency order may be applied when a “child has been abandoned or it is necessary in an emergency to protect the child because the child, or a sibling or parent of the child, is subjected to or threatened with mistreatment or abuse.” A hearing occurs between three and five days, and the entire point of it is to show the court the dangers presented to your child. Examples of such dangers to your child and violations of the custody agreement include:
- The parent is physically, emotionally, or sexually abusive to your child;
- The parent is involved in crime;
- The parent has a serious alcohol or drug addiction;
- The parent’s living arrangement is unsafe for your child;
- The child is being exposed to other dangerous individuals under the other parent’s supervision or permission; and
- The parent has displayed extreme levels of child neglect.
You will not be granted an emergency custody hearing simply because you do not approve of the child’s new partner or approve of the original parenting plan. If a parent takes off with their child to another state or country, for example, that could be grounds for an emergency custody hearing even though the child’s physical well-being may not be in jeopardy. As it stands, the vast majority of children who are kidnapped are taken by their own parents, according to the Washington Post. On the other hand, if you attempt to take your child out of danger unlawfully, you stand to be convicted. Even though white men are the largest group responsible for kidnapping their own children, women are more likely to be convicted of abduction, even when fleeing abuse or violence.
What Happens During an Emergency Custody Hearing?
Once the court agrees to hear the case, the other parent’s presence will be requested at the hearing. The parents may or may not be allowed to make statements, depending on the specifics of the case. Usually, such hearings are brief, and may not be held in a courtroom. An attorney will be invaluable in ensuring that the facts are laid out and the true dangers of the situation are presented to the judge.
Contact a Bel Air or Columbia Attorney
When your child is in danger, there is only one option to take. The Bel Air and Columbia attorneys of Schlaich & Thompson Chartered can help you get an emergency hearing with the Maryland court system. We urge you to act now before the time has passed.