Emergency Child Custody in Orem, Utah: What You Need to Know

For parents, one of the most important responsibilities in life is raising, protecting, and supporting their children. Even in the best of situations, there are circumstances that cause parents fear, stress, and grief. These emotions may be exacerbated when there is conflict between the parents, such as during a separation or divorce, or if one parent is exhibiting dangerous behaviors. In Utah family courts, the best interests of the child are the center of negotiations and orders. This is true in many aspects of family law, including in child custody matters.

What Is Emergency Child Custody?

One of the most complex and emotionally charged child custody matters is filing for emergency child custody. Emergency child custody is an order made by the court granting temporary child custody to one parent pending further investigation and review of the familial situation. Emergency child custody is often sought as the result of negative or dangerous behaviors or concerns, such as:

  • Physical abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Alcohol or drug addiction
  • Neglect

In Utah, one parent can seek emergency child custody without the other parent being present or notified. This form of “ex parte” order is typically only ordered in extreme situations, but it may be an option for many parents who believe their children are in danger.

Steps to Obtaining Emergency Child Custody

To obtain an order for emergency child custody, Utah parents have a few options available. It is important that the best interests of the child be at the center of any family law process, including emergency child custody matters. The most successful ways to obtain emergency child custody include:

  • Speak to a child custody attorney, who can offer guidance on laws and procedures and help initiate the process.
  • Visit the applicable courthouse and request the documents needed to file for emergency child custody.
  • Be prepared to possibly meet with a judge in order to review the request at the time of the filing.
  • Be prepared to attend a hearing in which both parents will have the opportunity to speak and present their sides of the situation.

What Happens Now?

Emergency child custody orders are typically short-term orders designed to protect the children and parents until a formal hearing can be scheduled. After filing for emergency child custody, it is important to be prepared for continuing negotiations and procedures, which begins with securing proper legal representation.

At the Law Office of Kelly Peterson, Utah parents will find the passion, knowledge, and expertise needed to successfully manage even the most complex family law matters. There are numerous benefits to having a skilled legal professional involved in any child custody matter, including compliance with applicable laws, protection from misdirection, and ensuring that the best interests of the child and family are the center of any case.

Kelly Peterson
About the Author

Experienced Divorce Lawyer Kelly Peterson handles child custody, visitation, paternity, grandparent rights and mediation cases.

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*Child Welfare Law Specialist Nat’l Assoc. of Counsel for Children