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Emergency Child Custody Orders

Dallas Attorneys for Family Law Matters

Although the Texas family law code establishes the rights and obligations of parties in a custody dispute, in some instances, the courts will disregard the general procedural law regarding notice to a party to set forth an emergency order affecting child custody. Emergency custody orders are an essential tool that allow courts to act promptly to protect children who are at risk of harm, but they can greatly impair parental rights. If you wish to seek an emergency child custody order or have been notified that your custody rights have been altered due to the issuance of such an order, you should seek legal counsel regarding your rights. The seasoned Dallas child custody lawyers of McClure Law Group can advise you of your options for protecting your child and maintaining your parental rights, and we will work tirelessly to assist you.

Temporary Restraining Orders

The Texas Family Code permits courts to issue emergency child custody orders under certain circumstances. Specifically, the court may issue an ex parte order, which is an order issued without notice or a hearing, if it deems such an order necessary for the protection of a child. Typically, courts only have authority to issue orders affecting the custody of a child if the child is a resident of Texas, but there are exceptions in cases in which an emergency order is necessary to protect the child because the child is threatened with abuse or mistreatment.

Generally, custody may be modified in cases of emergency by either a temporary restraining order or by a protective order. Temporary restraining orders will only be issued in pending custody cases, meaning that a custody suit must be filed in order for the court to grant an emergency temporary restraining order regarding child custody. Specifically, upon a petition requesting extraordinary relief, a court may issue a temporary restraining order excluding a parent from access to or possession of a child. The petition must be verified and must be accompanied by an affidavit indicating that immediate and irreparable harm will occur before notice can be provided to the other party or a hearing can be held. In other words, you must show the presence of a realistic risk of impairment to your child’s physical or emotional health and that the risk is so great that the judge cannot wait to hold a hearing prior to issuing the order. Temporary restraining orders become effective when they are issued, and parties who violate temporary restraining orders may be held in contempt. Temporary restraining orders last for fourteen days, after which they may be extended for an additional fourteen days. Usually, a hearing will be held during the duration of the temporary restraining order, at which time the court will determine whether to issue an injunction. A knowledgeable child custody lawyer can represent you in proceedings of this nature.

Protective Orders

In cases in which a clear and present danger of family violence exists, the court may issue an ex parte protective order prohibiting a party from removing a child from the possession of a person named in the order, or may prohibit the access to and possession of a child by a child’s parent who has committed family violence. Similar to a temporary restraining order, a court may issue a protective order without notice to the party to which the order applies or a hearing. Protective orders, if granted on a final basis after notice and hearing, can be effective for the period stated in the order up to two years. In some instances, however, a court may issue an order for a period that exceeds two years.

Speak With a Child Custody Lawyer in Dallas

In any custody case, the court’s aim is to act in the child’s best interest, and in some cases that requires an emergency order modifying custody. If you wish to seek an emergency child custody order or recently received notice of the issuance of an emergency order that impacts you, it is prudent to speak with an attorney as soon as possible. At McClure Law Group, we are adept at aiding parties in navigating the complexities of child custody disputes, and we will zealously pursue a just result in your case. We have an office in Dallas, and we are available to meet for appointments at our Collin County office in Plano. We represent parties in Dallas, Garland, Irving, Rockwall, Fort Worth, Richardson, McKinney, and Frisco. Additionally, we assist people in family law matters in cities in Dallas, Grayson, Denton, Collin, Rockwall, and Tarrant Counties. We can be reached at 214.692.8200 or through our form online to set up a consultation.

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