How to get emergency custody of a child?
A child pick up order is an emergency motion filed by someone with pre-existing legal rights over the child in question, and keeps the other parent unaware of the proceedings. To be considered as such you must have either a court order granting you legal rights or time sharing; or be a biological mother who had the child in question out of wedlock, and lacks any court documents establishing another individual’s parental rights. Although we are Tallahassee family law attorneys, we have obtained child pick up orders for children to be picked up throughout Florida and elsewhere in the U.S.
When granting child pick up orders, Florida courts are quite rigorous in their demands for appropriate justifications and proper paperwork, mostly out of respect for the other party’s right to due process, which allows the them to present their side of the story. Thus, it falls on the person requesting the order to prove that the situation is a true emergency, and merits the immediate forceful removal of the child. These factors make emergency relief somewhat rare, which is why it is vital you contact a competent lawyer to guide you through the process.
These orders are more likely to be issued in cases of setting a temporary parenting plan, if a parent fails to return a child as the court mandated, domestic violence, or sudden proof of substance abuse, neglect, or rape. However, the court will take into account when the evidence emerged; for example, if you’ve known neglect was occurring for months, the court may consider you don’t believe it to be an emergency, and will allow the other parent to defend themselves. On the other hand, if you suspected it but lacked proper evidence until that moment, the court is likely to issue the order immediately.
The most common type of orders requested and issued are called “Emergency Verified Pick Up Orders”.
These occur when a parent with visiting rights or some physical custody fails to deliver the child at the appointed time. In this event, especially if there is a suspicion that such parent might have taken the child away, the pick up order is rapidly issued, and local law enforcement (usually the sheriff’s office) go to retrieve the child. As you might expect, the situation becomes more problematic when the child is across county, or even state lines, as the cross-jurisdictional factor is added. If this situation was to happen, the other parent would likely be punished by the court, perhaps by restricting their future visiting time. As was previously stated, in order to request this you do need court documents stating your custodial or time sharing rights to the child in question or to be a mother who borned the child out of wedlock and has not established the father’s legal rights.
Regardless of the situation, it is imperative you seek legal counsel to maximize your chances of the order being issued. Obtaining the child pick up order is not always the hardest part. Tallahassee family law attorneys can struggle providing guidance on dealing with out-of-town or out-of-state law enforcement agencies to ensure the pick-up order is executed as ordered. It is important to have an attorney with whom you havea good rapport and who has a staff available to assist you if he or she is in court or otherwise unavailable.