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Schlaich & Thompson Chartered Bel Air Family, Divorce & Criminal Lawyer

Emergency Child Custody Orders in Maryland


Whatever the individual circumstances of a child custody dispute, Maryland law prioritizes the best interests of the child or children involved. When there is an emergency or other dangerous situation which presents a threat to a child, then the Maryland courts have the power to intervene to protect the child or children involved when the Maryland courts might not otherwise have jurisdiction over the custody issue.

When Can a Maryland Court Grant Emergency Child Custody Orders?

Referred to legally as temporary emergency jurisdiction, emergency child custody orders allow the court to bypass certain interstate jurisdictional restrictions. Given the extraordinary nature of this legal mechanism, it is normally limited to two circumstances.

The first circumstance is that the child is abandoned and needs a legal guardian. The court may consider whether a blood relative could serve as an appropriate legal guardian. If the child does not have any blood relatives, then the court may designate the state of Maryland as the guardian.

The second circumstance is that the child is in danger and needs protection. If the child, or their parent or sibling, is subject to abuse or threatened abuse while in the State of Maryland, then a Maryland court may intervene. Victims of domestic violence are a prime example of why emergency child custody orders have legal justification. Sometimes it is necessary for the court to act quickly and protect innocent victims from further harm.

Is There a Time Limit on Emergency Child Custody Orders in Maryland?

Emergency child custody orders are designed as a temporary mechanism. In most cases, the court steps in to protect the best interests of the child and their family members. Once the danger subsides, most emergency child custody orders will fade as well.

In certain cases, a Maryland court will grant an emergency child custody order for the duration of an ongoing child custody proceeding. This may be necessary to protect the best interests of the child and family members in certain disputes. When this happens, the emergency order will usually expire once the formal child custody proceeding concludes.

That being said, the Maryland courts focus on the best interests of the child. So if it necessary to protect a child’s well-being, an emergency child custody order can become long-lasting or even permanent.

Let Us Assist You Today

If you or your children are subject to a dangerous or abusive situation, it may be time to retain a trusted family law attorney and consider an emergency child custody order. Don’t hesitate to contact Schlaich & Thompson, Chartered in Bel Air, Maryland for help.

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