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What happens in the family court hearing after I am granted temporary custody?

Martinez, CA |

I am a father and I was granted temporary custody of my 2 year old daughter ( emergency court order ) since my daughter is living with me. Before that the child was living with her mother, but she is unable to take care of her. I live in Northern CA and the mother lives in Southern CA. I wanted to know what happens during the court hearing? I want legal and physical custody of my daughter. Will the judge make the decision of who will receive full legal and physical custody in the same hearing or will there be other hearings? Basically, I want to know what the process is? I would appreciate any answers or advice. Thanks.

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Attorney answers 2


A temporary custody order will control who has custody until a permanent custody order is made. The permanent decision may be made at the next hearing or it may require further hearings to gather evidence. All of that depends on your particular circumstances.

Best of luck to you.

This response is intended to be a general statement of law, should not be relied upon as legal advice, does not create an attorney/client relationship and does not create a right to continuing email exchanges.


First of all, congratulations on your progess in the case thus far. Custody issues are never easy to deal with, it sounds like your daughter's best interests are being served, even with the emergency orders.

From your description, the best I can tell is that you filed an ex parte (emergency) request for temporary orders and that your case is now set for a hearing in front of a judge, probably in the next few weeks. As to what can or cannot happen during that hearing, that depends primarily on whether or not you and the mother have attended mediation. Given the current state of the Contra Costa mediation program, it's highly unlikely that you'll be able to receive an appointment before November unless they give you one of the very few open slots they reserve for the most dire custody situations.

The Court cannot really make any long lasting orders without you attending mediation. He or she can maintain the status quo or order a very temporary visitation schedule, but it all depends on the factual circumstances of your case. If you haven't contacted Family Court Services yet to schedule mediation orientation, please do so immediately.

Given your daughter's age and the distance between you and the mother, you should expect a good number of hearings to resolve the custody/visitation dispute.

Good luck!