Emergency Child Custody in Pennsylvania

Petitions for Special Relief and Emergency Child Custody Orders

When can you file for emergency custody? Consider the following circumstances:

  • The other parent has attempted to relocate the child without notice or consent
  • The child has been abandoned
  • The child is the victim of actual or threatened physical/sexual abuse
  • The other parent or their household member has a substance abuse problem or engages in otherwise reckless behavior

What do you do?

These are just some of the situations that might justify filing a Petition for Special Relief with the Court of Common Pleas in your county. Pennsylvania law provides that a judge may enter temporary custody order (or temporarily modify an existing order) at any time. It is even possible to obtain such an order if the other party fails to respond or show up for a hearing (called an ex parte proceeding).

To obtain this type of an emergency custody order, you should have your attorney file a Petition for Special Relief setting forth the facts that make the emergency order necessary.

Once a petition is filed, a Common Pleas judge will decide whether the facts justify an emergency order, and whether there will be a hearing on the matter. Depending on the severity of the situation, a judge may even hold a hearing or issue an order within hours or days.

If you think you need an emergency custody order, contact Attorney Marshall Chriswell to discuss your case today.

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