Across the country, people’s lives have been turned upside down due to the coronavirus pandemic. Family issues are a particular concern. From day-to-day annoyances to reports of severe physical abuse, the stay-at-home order has presented numerous challenges for Michigan families, including complicated legal problems.
As families seek to sort out the “new normal,” some are filing petitions to gain custody of their children, including emergency custody orders that allege their children are in danger. If you are at risk of losing custody of your children as a result of an allegation of domestic violence, you need to contact an Ann Arbor domestic violence attorney right away.
Emergency Custody Orders Explained
In Michigan, a parent can seek custody of their children by way of an emergency custody order, formally referred to as an “ex parte motion.” These motions are filed by one parent without advance notice to the other parent. If the judge is satisfied that the parent seeking the order should be granted custody, they will enter a temporary custody order that places the children in their sole custody.
The intention behind these emergency custody orders is to protect a child who is in imminent danger. In other words, immediate action is necessary to protect the child from harm. There may also be concerns that providing the other parent with advance notice may expose the child to additional dangers, such as being kidnapped by the parent.
The good news is that the custody order is only temporary. You will be given an opportunity to be heard by a judge and explain why the order is unfair and unnecessary.
How to Respond to an Ex Parte Custody Order
If you have received an emergency custody order, a temporary order has already been entered by a judge. As a result, you should comply with its terms – do not refuse service and do not refuse to give access to your children. These situations have a tendency to escalate quickly, and losing your composure can result in additional legal problems for you.
Once you have received the papers, read them carefully and thoroughly. Do not hesitate to ask questions of the officer serving you with the order – you want to understand exactly what you are being required to do.
The next step is to talk to a qualified lawyer as soon as possible. There are very strict deadlines governing how you can object to the order and how you can proceed. An experienced attorney will know how to navigate the process so that you can retain custody of your children and defend yourself against any allegations of abuse.
Have You Been Served with an Emergency Custody Order? Call an Ann Arbor Domestic Violence Attorney for Help
At ArborYpsi Law, we know how frustrating it can be to face baseless allegations of abuse that could result in the loss of your children. We provide skilled, dedicated legal representation to people dealing with emergency custody orders to help them keep their children. If you would like to schedule a free consultation with our Ann Arbor domestic violence attorney, call us today at 734-883-9584 or contact us online to discuss your case and how we can help.