How can I get emergency custody of my child who is in my possesion?
I had to get my son and I away from my husband because of fighting and his drinking. I did not want my son to have to experience the fighting, so I took him and moved out of my husband's house to a safer place. My husband does not know where we live which is how we need it to be.
Lawsuit / Dispute Attorney
Since the question originates from Columbus, Ohio I will answer this question based upon the practices in Franklin County, Ohio. The procedure to obtain a change of custody requires the filing of a Motion. The Motion will be set for a hearing, probably before one of the Magistrates. The hearing will originally be scheduled for a date that is one to two months after the Motion is filed. However, it is rare that the Motion actually comes on for a hearing that quickly. The process often includes discovery - such as the production of documents, interrogatories and depositions - and may involve the appointment of a guardian ad litem for the minor child. This entire process can take many months to complete.
In order to obtain a change of custody order on an emergency basis it is necessary to show that there are extraordinary circumstances which justify the issuance of an order prior to the process described in the foregoing paragraph. The Local Rules actually state that post-decree (meaning after the dissolution or divorce has been granted) ex parte Motions are discouraged. Ex parte Motions refer to Motions that are filed and granted without opposition. The court will issue such orders only where it is shown that irreparable harm will occur to the child unless the court takes immediate action and grants the emergency Motion. The Motion must be supported by at least one Affidavit under oath that clearly delineates the expected harm to the minor child if the Motion is not granted. Once the emergency change of custody Order is issued the other parent must be given immediate noticeof the issuance of the Order.
You also need to be aware that even if an emergency Order is issued by the Court, the process described in the first paragraph above will most likely occur. Thus there will probably be discovery, potentially the appointment of a Guardian ad Litem, and eventually an evidentiary hearing to determine if the emergency Order should continue into the future.
In order to provide effective legal advice and representation it is necessary for an attorney to have all of the pertinent facts. This answer is therefore intended to provide general guidance. In order to determine how best to proceed in a particular case it is critical to obtain the advice and potentially the representation of a qualified attorney.