How to File for Temporary Custody in California

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Custody battles are often unpleasant for everyone involved. In the event of a separation or divorce, custody issues must be addressed. In family law cases regarding child custody in California, court orders can be established only after the appropriate paperwork is filed, the hearing date is scheduled and the other party is served a notice of hearing with adequate time to respond. In emergency situations, the judge may issue a temporary order that will expire on the day of the custody hearing.

Notify the other parent of your intent to seek temporary custody. According to the California Rules of Court's Rule 379, you are required inform the other party in person or by phone before 10 a.m. on the day you plan to file.

Obtain the proper paperwork. You will need to visit the local courthouse to request an order for temporary custody. The forms may also be available to print from the family court website in your California city.

Complete the paperwork. You must include your name and the other parent's name, addresses and Social Security numbers. List each child for which you are requesting temporary custody. Include the child's birth date and Social Security number.

Provide evidence to support the emergency situation. Since California issues temporary custody only when there is an immediate threat to the child, you will need to prove the child is in danger. You will be required to provide a summary supporting the allegations along with any documents such as a police report or case information from a Child Protective Services investigation.

File the paperwork at the courthouse. In emergency custody cases, most counties in California do not charge a fee to file the order. The custody hearing is typically held within two weeks of filing the petition. Emergency custody until the hearing may be awarded to you within days if there is proof of domestic violence or abuse.

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