This is the next post in our series on emergency child custody cases. Our last article discussed situations which the Court may consider an emergency in regards to child custody. The most important thing to remember is that a Judge is most likely to consider the matter an emergency if it is shown that your son or daughter is in imminent or potential danger. Retaining a lawyer to help you in Court is in your best interest to show the danger to your children. In this article, we will discuss the process through which one files for an emergency custody modification. If you require assistance, please contact our Dayton office today for an initial consultation with one of our family law attorneys.
A Dayton child custody modification begins with the filing of a Motion in Family Court
When an individual wants to request an emergency change of custody, the first step is to file a Motion with the Court. This document is a formal request from the parent that states the facts of the case, how those facts impact the best interests of the child, and what they believe the new custody arrangement should be. Attached to the Motion is documentary evidence which may include police reports, phone records, financial statements, and more that supports why the child custody arrangement should be changed. Once the Motion has been filed with the Court, a hearing date will be set. In an emergency situation, your counsel will file a request for an expedited hearing. The other parent will be served with notice of the hearing. Notice is generally served in person if it is an expedited hearing, and each side will attend with their attorney.
Ohio Family Court Judges can proceed in many different ways in an emergency child custody case
A big distinction for a parent to understand is that the initial hearing, in which the Judge hears the Motion, will not be a trial. Attorneys for each side will make their arguments before the Court. Normally, witnesses will not testify during this initial hearing nor is it likely that the Judge will devote a significant amount of time to the matter. When the Court issues the decision, there are several options for the Judge to choose from. One potential decision that the Court has is to deny the Motion. By denying it, the current custody order will remain in place and that the case is essentially closed. A second option that the Judge can choose is to grant a temporary change in custody. The Court will issue this temporary change if the facts warrant it. The Court will also set a trial date where the Judge will decide if the facts dictate whether a more permanent change should be ordered. Finally, the Court may decline to make an immediate change of custody but set a trial date to determine if a change should be made. However, the way the Judge will rule in any given situation is always going to depend on the specific facts of the case.
The best way to help yourself in an emergency situation is to retain an experienced child custody lawyer. Presenting your matter to the Judge in a clear and concise manner is crucial when letting the Court hear your side of the story. Contact our office today to schedule an initial consultation with one of our Dayton attorneys. We also handle cases in Beavercreek, Centerville, Clayton, Eaton, Englewood, Fairborn, Franklin, Harrison Township, Huber Heights, Kettering, Oakwood, Lebanon, Miami Township, Miamisburg, Piqua, Riverside, Springboro, Springfield, Tipp City, Trotwood, Troy, Vandalia, Waynesville, Washington Township, West Carrollton, Yellow Springs, and Xenia.