Obtaining Emergency Custody in Oklahoma

Obtaining Emergency Custody in Oklahoma

Obtaining Emergency Custody in Oklahoma

Divorce and family law cases involving children may, at times, result in one party seeking emergency custody of the children. In many counties in Oklahoma judges disfavor emergency motions, therefore it’s important to know when and when not to request emergency custody of the minor children.

In Oklahoma, obtaining an emergency custody order typically involves the following steps:

1. File a Motion for Emergency Custody: To initiate the process, you (or your attorney) will need to file a motion for emergency custody with the appropriate court. This motion should outline the reasons why you believe emergency custody is necessary and provide any relevant evidence to support your claims. It must also include an affidavit of an individual with personal knowledge of the events giving rise to the emergency, as well as any police report or investigative report if they exist.

2. Demonstrate Emergency Circumstances: To obtain an emergency custody order, you must demonstrate that the child is in immediate danger or facing an urgent threat to their well-being. Common emergency situations include physical abuse, neglect, substance abuse by a parent, or any other situation that poses an imminent risk to the child’s safety.

3. Ex Parte Hearing: In some cases, the court may hold an ex parte hearing (without the other parent or parties present) to assess the urgency of the situation and determine if an emergency custody order is warranted. The Court has 72 hours to conduct the initial hearing, and in many instances the judge will take that time to review the pleadings filed and provide an opportunity for the other party to receive notice.

4. Notification to Other Parties: Typically, after the emergency custody order is granted, a full hearing will be scheduled, during which all parties involved will have the opportunity to present their arguments and evidence. The other parent or parties will be notified of this hearing. If the Court does not conduct an immediate Ex Parte hearing when the case is filed, the other party may be present at the initial hearing and receive notification at that time.

5. Full Hearing: At the full hearing, both parties will have the chance to present evidence, call witnesses, and provide testimony supporting their positions. The court will carefully consider the best interests of the child when making its decision. This “Show-Cause” hearing is generally conducted within 10 days of the initial hearing.

6. Best Interests of the Child: Ultimately, the court’s primary consideration in granting custody, whether emergency or not, is the best interests of the child. Factors like the child’s safety, stability, health, and relationship with each parent will be taken into account.

If you do not have evidence of an imminent threat of harm to the child, it is not advisable to file for emergency custody. There are possible ramifications to filing a false emergency motion that could greatly impact your case, therefore, you should be cautious anytime an emergency is sought.

Remember that the legal process for obtaining an emergency custody order can be complex and may vary depending on the specific circumstances of the case. It is highly recommended to seek advice and assistance from a qualified attorney who focuses on family law and child custody matters. If The Smith Firm attorneys can help guide you or a loved one through the process of obtaining or defendant against an emergency custody order, contact us at (405) 843-1000 or schedule a consultation today.