If you learn that your co-parent is engaging in abusive behavior with your child, you likely have questions about your ability to protect them. Additionally, other potential guardians, such as grandparents, may also witness abusive behavior and wonder what they can do to prevent further harm. Fortunately, a skilled custody attorney could help you take legal action.

Seeking emergency custody is a drastic action, but in some cases, it is the best way to protect a child from abuse. If you suspect something is wrong and that your child is suffering from abuse, you should speak to an Austin emergency custody lawyer about the steps you can take to protect your child.

Grounds for Emergency Custody

Seeking emergency custody is only appropriate when a child is facing severe risks in their current living situation. The following situations could lead to an emergency custody order:

  • Physical abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Child abandonment
  • Unsafe home or living space
  • Drug or alcohol abuse

Although emotional abuse can damage a child, these sorts of behaviors will not typically lead to an emergency custody order. Parents have rights, and courts are hesitant to issue these orders unless a child is facing an immediate threat. However, if a person suspects severe abuse, they should contact an Austin lawyer to discuss the case and learn more about the ability to file an emergency custody claim.

Evidence Collection in Emergency Custody Cases

When seeking emergency custody, making an accusation will not be enough for the court to issue an order. The moving party must collect evidence to support their claims. If possible, an individual should gather relevant pictures, text messages, emails, or other documents that help illustrate the abuse about which they are concerned. If the parent or current guardian has passed police reports or criminal records, those might help you demonstrate the threat they pose to a child.

Because building a case for emergency custody can be complicated, an individual should speak to an attorney in Austin who could help demonstrate the risk to the court.

Understanding Temporary Restraining Orders

If a person files a petition for emergency custody, the court might enter a temporary restraining order (TRO). When a judge enters a TRO, they may give emergency custody to one party and schedule a later hearing.

The filing party or their attorney will need to ensure that the accused individual or individuals receive service at least three days before the hearing. The terms of the TRO may vary depending on the individual situation. This process can be intimidating, but having a dedicated attorney may help individuals manage this frightening and challenging situation.

Attending an Emergency Custody Hearing in Austin

The hearing is where the judge determines whether or not to award the filing party custody. The person who files the claim will likely need to speak in front of the court to explain their reasons for seeking emergency custody.

The other party will also have an opportunity to defend against the accusations. At the completion of the hearing, the judge can decide whether or not to make the temporary order a permanent award of custody. There is much at stake in these cases, so it is vital to have experienced Austin legal representation when seeking emergency custody.

Hiring an Austin Emergency Custody Attorney

The documents involved in filing for emergency custody are technical, and the process is stressful, especially if you are unfamiliar with the legal system. Of course, when you need to file for emergency custody, you understand that the safety of a child you love is at stake. You must complete the necessary steps to prove your case to the court. Speak to an Austin emergency custody lawyer today to learn more about this process.