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What happens with ex parte emergency custody? PLEASE HELP

Seattle, WA |

The children's mother has custody right now but we are still going through custody. The case is in WA but I am out of state. There is allegations of drug abuse on her and her boyfriends part as well as domestic violence charges on her boyfriends part, also reports of abuse against the children. A GAD stated she felt they were not in a safe environment with their mother and they should move with me. If I go to WA to file this will she have a chance to respond before the final court date? Also is this grounds for a judge granting me the custody order? I am scared for my kids, but even more so if I am not granted the emergency custody.

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Attorney answers 2


Not nearly enough information to analyze facts. If you do not have an attorney, you will need to appear personally. A GAL recommendation is by no means concrete. I my opinion, if you reside out of state you absolutely need a lawyer here in WA.

The information is for general information purposes only. Nothing stated above should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation.


I agree with Mr. Hawkin's post. I would add that if these facts have surfaced since the prior order, which I assume was a temporary order parenting plan from the sounds of your post, you should proceed with all avenues to protect your children. The Guardian Ad Litem's report is not the end all be all; however, it is helpful. Is there a review hearing scheduled now that the Guardian Ad Litem has completed her report? Is she in support of a hearing to potentially change custody? When is trial?
The answer to the tag line question of your post is that a party files a motion for ex parte (emergency) relief, stating all the reasons in support of the relief they are requesting and why the relief should be granted by the court on an immediate basis rather than waiting the time ordinarily required between filing a motion and the date of the hearing. You go into ex parte court the same day you file the motion. Unless there are reasons not to give notice to the other side (flight risk/abuse), you should give at minimum 2 hours’ notice to the other side, indicating when/where you will be to present your requests to the court. That it is before the ex parte court for emergency relief does not change what you need to establish in order to change custody. If the court provides you with emergency relief it will be subject to a later hearing date where the other party has the opportunity to respond to your motion and the ex parte order entered. The court will then decide if their emergency ruling will stand at that hearing. You should definitely consult with an attorney.

Karen C. Skantze practices in the State of Washington. The response is limited to her understanding of law in the jurisdiction in which she practices and not to any other jurisdiction. No response to any posted inquiry shall constitute legal advice, nor the existence of an attorney/client relationship.

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