When Do You Need An Ex Parte Custody Order?

The breakdown of a relationship can be distressing for all involved but it isn’t an unusual occurrence. In the U.S., approximately 2.3 out of every 1,000 people will experience divorce. While the rate in New Jersey is slightly lower than average at 1.7 per 1,000 people, this still amounts to a significant number of people dissolving a marriage each year.

For many people, child custody arrangements are the most important issue when negotiating the terms of a divorce, yet these matters aren’t always easily resolved. If both parties want to obtain custody of the child or children in question, for example, court hearings will be required to determine how custody should be arranged.

What Happens in The Short-Term?

On average, it takes around 12 months for a divorce to be finalized in the U.S., although this increases to 18 months if the matter goes to trial. So, what happens in the interim period? If you’re awaiting a court hearing, you may want to safeguard your child or children by applying for an ex parte custody order.

This is essentially a temporary custody arrangement that remains in force until a full hearing can take place and permanent custody arrangements can be made. However, there are strict regulations regarding how and when an ex parte custody order can be made.

When Is an Ex Parte Custody Order Made?

A court will grant an ex parte custody order if it is deemed necessary to protect the child or children in question. If a child is at risk of physical abuse, for example, an ex parte custody order may be made to ensure the child remains safe while divorce proceedings are ongoing.

Ex parte custody orders are designed to keep children safe while fuller investigations and hearings are taking place and, as such, they are only suitable for dealing with ‘emergent’, or very urgent, issues, such as:

  • Domestic violence
  • Sexual abuse
  • Risk of parental kidnap
  • Child abandonment
  • Fitness to care for the child

What If the Other Party Disagrees?

When parents divorce, they have the opportunity to file a motion requesting custody of their child. Then, the other parent can respond and either agree to the motion or argue against it. In the case of ex parte custody orders, however, the other party is not notified in advance and a full hearing does not take place.

Providing your request meets the relevant standard and it is deemed to be in the best interests of the child, it will not matter if the other party disagrees with the motion or opposes the court’s decision.

Should You Apply for an Ex Parte Custody Order?

If you feel your child is at risk of harm while divorce proceedings are taking place, applying for an ex parte custody order can be beneficial. Of course, getting tailored legal advice from a reputable family lawyer in New Jersey should be your first port of call.

With the right expertise, you can determine how to proceed with your case and how to ensure the welfare of your child or children while matters are permanently resolved, and your divorce is finalized.
Kristi Cathey
 

Hi everyone! My name is Kristi Cathey and I’m glad you found your way to my blog. I am a mother of 3 beautiful angels. This blog was created in order to share my personal experiences in baby care and general health care for pregnant women. If you'd like to get in touch with me, please contact me by sending me an email via [email protected] Welcome to Intelligentmother.com

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