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When is emergency child custody necessary?

On Behalf of | May 31, 2023 | Family Law

Nothing is more frightening than the thought of a child in the hands of someone who could potentially harm them. You may find it difficult to think straight, but you will want to keep your composure. You do not want to make a mistake when you file for emergency custody with a Rhode Island Family Court.

Situations that call for an emergency child custody petition

It can be tough to ask the court to change custody, but if a child’s safety is at risk, the judge will undoubtedly hear out the request. In such situations, a noncustodial parent or a person in loco parentis can file a petition for emergency child custody without needing to notify the custodial parent.

Below are a few examples of threatening situations that can warrant emergency child custody:

  • If the other parent cannot be found or has not been in contact with the child for over six months
  • If there is reason to believe that the other parent has plans to flee with the child (parental abduction)
  • If the child’s physical health has not been in good condition due to the neglect of the parent in custody
  • If the custodial parent is no longer able to care for the child and has no one else to rely on
  • If there were acts of violence towards the child or someone in the home
  • If one parent attempted to relocate with the child without the other’s consent
  • If the custodial parent is dealing with alcohol or drug addiction

If you suspect any of the situations mentioned above or something similar, it is best to take immediate action while exercising caution. In case of parental abduction, contact the authorities as soon as you discover that your child is missing.

For other urgent situations, a judge may grant emergency custody within 24 to 48 hours. However, incorrectly filing a modification can have negative repercussions. A family law attorney may point you in the right direction.