Getting an Emergency Custody Order in Maryland

You fear your child is going to be harmed in some way and want to do something about it. Unfortunately, you don’t have custody of the child. If this ever happens, you do not have to be a helpless bystander.

The answer for you and your child may be an emergency custody order. Houlon Berman’s family law attorneys are experienced in Maryland family law and devoted to custody matters. Let us help you get an emergency custody order in Maryland.

What is an Emergency Hearing?

Ultimately, an emergency hearing is just what it sounds like: a hearing that happens quickly because of an impending custody or child-safety emergency. This type of hearing typically occurs within 3-5 days of the initiation and allows for quick legal judgments where time is of the essence.

When Do You Need an Emergency Custody Order?

Most commonly, an emergency hearing for custody is required when some aspect of your custody agreement is being violated, or about to be violated. Addressing it through normal court procedures could take weeks or months, and that may not be fast enough.

For example: Your child’s other parent plans to leave the country in a few days and take the child with them. You don’t have weeks or months to wait—you need action now. That’s when an emergency hearing for custody is needed.

What is Involved in an Emergency Hearing for Custody?

An emergency hearing is different from a regular court proceeding. You and your attorney start the process by submitting an application for the emergency hearing. Your main goal at this point is to make clear to a judge that a particular situation represents an emergency and that a hearing should be scheduled as soon as possible. (This isn’t the time to explain all the facts of your divorce and custody arrangements.)

If the judge consents, you’ll receive copies of an order that will require your child’s other parent to appear at the hearing. The hearing will likely be held within 3-5 days. It will probably be very brief, and it may happen in a judge’s chambers rather than a courtroom. You and the child’s other parent might have the opportunity to speak, or you might not. The exact nature of the situation will determine the content of the hearing and whether you are eventually granted an emergency custody order.

When there’s a situation that endangers your child or custody arrangement, there’s little time to wait. An emergency hearing and emergency custody order let you act quickly to protect your child.

Instead of spending valuable time figuring out the process and managing it yourself, let Houlon Berman’s skilled family law team help you. Our experience with Maryland family law will help you do what is in the best interest of your child, as fast as is necessary.

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