When it comes to our children’s welfare, every decision is urgent. Once we’ve decided what’s best for our kids, we want action right away. When it comes to emergency parenting, the urgency we feel often comes up against the hard reality of the court system. It’s a slow process, getting a judge’s attention, and assistance.
That’s why there’s often a difference between what a parent thinks is an emergency, and what a judge may think is an emergency. It’s important to carefully consider whether a situation represents a true emergency before filing anything.
Many state courts do provide an emergency process. In those states, parents can quickly get in front of a judge. But if a parent files for emergency relief and the situation is not an emergency, that parent runs the risk of facing an irritated judge who may decide you’ve abused the process for your own ends. It’s important to understand what is really an emergency under your state’s law.
Emergency parenting time is a temporary modification of the existing parenting plan. It usually includes a modification of both time and decision making responsibility. Sometimes, all parenting time with the other parent is automatically suspended. In other cases, parenting may only be under supervised conditions.
This temporary modification is usually only good for a short period of time. Within a couple of weeks, the other parent gets their chance in court. At that time, the court will review the evidence and decide whether to continue the limited parenting time, under conditions or dismiss the emergency motion.
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