Many of our clients need an immediate change of custody or an immediate suspension of parenting time. It can be extremely frustrating for them to learn that it can take weeks or even months to get into court on a custody or parenting time issue. This feeling is compounded when the client believes their child is in danger in the other parent’s care.
We can help you get an emergency custody order. Call the Law Offices of Paul F. Sherman at (503) 223-8441 or Contact Us for a free emergency child custody consultation.
Emergency custody orders are useful in cases involving severe drug and alcohol problems, in cases of sexual abuse, in cases where the custodial parent is incarcerated or where the other party is suffering from severe emotional or mental issues resulting in hospitalization or a complete breakdown. Courts will generally protect children in each of these situations.
WHAT IS AN IMMEDIATE DANGER ORDER?
As a general rule, a court cannot issue an emergency custody order without both parties having an opportunity to be heard. This requires that a motion to obtain custody must be served on the opposing party and a hearing time must be set with the court for the matter to be resolved.
An important exception to this rule is an “Immediate Danger Order.” Temporary emergency custody orders are authorized by ORS 107.097(3). This provision requires that the court find that the child is in immediate danger based on a sworn statement by the moving party and testimony that a child is in immediate danger.
What is immediate danger? Immediate danger means that there is a clear and present risk that a child will be physically injured or neglected in such a way as to endanger the child. The risk here generally involves physical danger and “immediate” means now.
The evidence used by the court to support a finding of immediate danger must be true and credible and must be based on the moving party’s actual observations and personal knowledge. A mere assertion that the other parent is abusing drugs, abusing alcohol, or has done these behaviors in the past is not sufficient to show an immediate danger. Likewise, the mere fact that a parent is ill, hospitalized or homeless may not create an immediate danger depending on the age of the child and the overall circumstances of the case. An immediate danger order requires solid evidence that there is an immediate genuine risk of physical harm to the child. If a proper showing of immediate danger is not supported by the sworn testimony and evidence presented to the court, the court must deny the motion for emergency custody.
CONTACT PAUL F. SHERMAN FOR EXPERT ADVICE ON EMERGENCY CUSTODY AND PARENTING TIME ORDERS
We know you have questions and we have answers. If you would like to learn more about immediate danger orders, call the Law Offices of Paul F. Sherman at (503) 223-8441 or Contact Us for a free telephone consultation.