Child custody disputes are stressful, no matter the circumstances. Sometimes, current situations intensify that stress, leaving you wondering, When should you seek a temporary child custody order?
Individuals may choose to ask a judge for a temporary child custody order if:
- A parent is involved in a custody dispute they expect will take a long time to resolve;
- A parent is risking the child’s safety;
- A parent intends to take the child away; or
- A parent is called for military duty.
If you believe you may need a temporary child custody order, you should consult an experienced child custody attorney in Houston. At the Larson Law Office, our family lawyers have spent years helping families get their feet beneath them. Our clients rely on us to provide our honest opinions and straightforward explanations of the legal realities of their cases. If necessary, we can personally guide you through how to get a temporary custody order for a child.
How to Get Temporary Custody of a Child in Texas
Getting a temporary custody order begins with a Texas family court. You can ask the court to issue a temporary order as the first part of a broader case, or you can ask it to issue an order while an existing case is pending.
Temporary Custody in Texas
Under Texas law, the court may issue a temporary custody order “for the safety and welfare of the child.” To ask the court to prevent one parent from seeing their child, the other parent must submit a “verified pleading” or “an affidavit in accordance with the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure.” A child custody lawyer can help you ensure you properly fill out your documents.
In the verified pleading, the parent must explain why the order is in the child’s best interests. What that looks like will depend on the order sought. For example, if a parent asks the court to name them the sole managing conservator and allow the other parent only supervised visitation, they will likely need to provide many details about why the other parent’s conduct endangers the child.
Temporary Restraining Orders
When concerned about a child’s safety, a parent can seek a temporary restraining order (TRO). A judge can issue a TRO lasting up to 20 days if there is a “clear and present danger of family violence.” Family violence includes:
- Mental or emotional harm materially impairing the child’s development;
- Physical injury or the genuine threat of physical injury; and
- Sexual misconduct.
The judge can grant a TRO without notifying the person it is filed against. If a parent wants a permanent protective order, the person the application is filed against must be notified and have a chance to respond.
When Would You Seek a Temporary Child Custody Order?
Whether you should seek a temporary child custody order depends on your specific circumstances. Some situations may be more likely to justify a temporary order than others.
Case Will Take a Long Time
Sometimes, parents cannot agree on how child custody should work, and they go to court. While that court case is pending, the parents may seek a temporary child custody order to ensure the child has stability and a set plan for their care.
Safety of the Child
When one parent presents a danger to the child, the other parent might seek a temporary custody order to restrict that parent from seeing the child or to allow that parent only supervised visitation. Risks to the child’s safety can involve direct abuse or neglect. Risks can also include the parent exposing the child to dangerous situations and failing to adequately protect them.
Parent Trying to Take the Child Away
If a parent has the right to be consulted on where their child lives and they believe the other parent is planning to take the child and leave, they may be able to get a temporary custody order. The order may modify the other parent’s time with the child or require supervised visitation.
A parent may also seek a temporary custody order if one parent is called to military duty. The temporary order will consider the expected duration of the parent’s military service.
When Should You Seek a Temporary Child Custody Order?
If you are uncertain whether to seek a temporary child custody order or need help getting started, contact the Larson Law Office today. Our attorneys can help you make a well-informed decision, whether you decide to pursue a temporary order or not. We are dedicated to providing every client with direct, reliable support and guidance as they navigate the difficulties of a child custody dispute.