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Posted On February 18, 2021

Emergency Custody: When Your Child Is in Danger

When a child is in danger, parents can make a report with child services to prompt an investigation and an emergency child custody hearing.

Filing for Emergency Custody

When a divorce involves children, child custody and support become important parts of the divorce decree. Whether child custody is shared or assigned to one parent, situations may arise that put the child in danger by a parent. In Indiana, the law permits parents to modify child custody rights, either temporarily or permanently, if a child is placed in danger by a parent.

Under both the Indiana Divorce and Paternity Acts, Indiana trial courts can schedule emergency hearings to modify child custody arrangements. This may be done when parents file for a divorce or after a divorce is granted by the court. According to state statutes, a family law attorney may seek an emergency hearing to modify child custody. The opposing parent must be given advance notice, and he or she has the right to attend the emergency hearing to address the issues. If modified custody is granted by the court, supervised visitation will likely be ordered.

If one parent believes that a child faces danger from the other parent during or after a divorce, he or she can call the Indiana Department of Child Services Hotline to file a report. This report will prompt an immediate investigation of the child’s circumstances, which may lead to the removal of the child from one or both parents and an emergency detention hearing. In cases where the child may have a high risk of distress, injury, or death, a family law attorney can file a temporary restraining order with the court. Under these conditions, the court may grant a temporary restraining order without any verbal or written notice to the other parent. Such cases often involve illicit drug use by a parent, violent actions by a parent, or neglect of the child’s welfare.

Child custody cases can be complex, especially when there are disputes between parents. However, emergency custody is granted by Indiana courts to protect a child against physical and emotional harm from a parent. Although parental custody rights can vary between states, the primary goal of the court is to protect the best interests of the child. When a child is in danger, an Indiana family law attorney can file for emergency custody and help to expedite the process with Indiana courts.

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