Orlando Family Team handles all legal matters related to marriage, divorce, and child custody. One of these matters is emergency child pick-up orders, the purpose of which is to get your child out of harm’s way. When you come to us in the midst of a critical situation, we will do everything in our power to persuade Orange County Court to hold an urgent hearing so that your child can be removed from the dangerous environment promptly.
The assistance of a skilled child custody attorney during such a crisis cannot be overstated since a hearing will not be arranged unless the court is persuaded that taking such action is imperative. Our attorneys have many years of experience engaging in successful legal persuasion and know exactly what type of evidence must be presented to sway local judges to your side.
Under what circumstances are emergency child pick-up orders called for?
Unfortunately, there are a number of occasions in which you may fear that your child is in danger from her or his other parent, such as:
- When the other parent does not return the child to your custody after a visitation period
- You have strong reason to believe that the other parent poses a threat of physical violence or emotional abuse to your child
- The other parent has become psychiatrically disturbed, as part of an ongoing illness or as a first-time occurrence
- The other parent has engaged in domestic or other violence
- The other parent has seriously neglected your child
- The other parent has left your young child without necessary supervision
- You have evidence that the other parent is abusing alcohol or drugs
- The other parent is exposing your child to criminal activities or keeping the child in the presence of violent criminals or pedophiles
Clearly, no two cases are identical, but the first thing to do if you believe your child is at risk is to call the police. Calling Orlando Family Team next is a good idea. We have familiarity with law enforcement and the judicial system and know which strategies will work best to get your child back to a safe location as quickly as possible.
It should be noted that if you are a father and unmarried to your child’s mother, you may have to establish paternity before the court will hear your emergency motion for a child pick-up order in Florida. Our legal team will help facilitate this process.
How can we keep the offending parent from simply spiriting your child away?
It is illegal, under the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA), for either divorced parent to take the child out of the state of residence without the knowledge and/or permission of the child’s other parent. While this offense usually involves a noncustodial parent trying to interfere with legal custody arrangements, it can work in reverse. Either way, such “kidnapping” is against the law.
Just as individual freedoms may be suspended during a catastrophe, such as an earthquake or terrorist attack, the same is true, though on a much smaller scale, when a single child is in danger at the hands of one parent. This is why an emergency child pick-up order is nearly always issued and carried out without notifying the offending parent. The hearing then takes place ex parte — with only the accusing parent present to state her or his case.
When an emergency child pick-up is complicated by the fact that one parent has taken the child to another state, putting jurisdiction in question, you can be sure the court will not take this offense lightly. Apart from any other legal penalties, the absconding parent may be punished by losing future visiting time with the child, a consequence that may, depending on the nature of the parent/child relationship, punish the child as well.
A Child in Imminent Danger May Supersede Due Process
The primary reason the courts do not easily issue emergency relief in the form of emergency child pick-up orders is that doing so can violate the due process rights of the opposing party. Due process is meant to give Florida residents ample notification of the motion in question as well as an opportunity to present their own side of the issue. With a child’s safety at risk, however, the court may pull out all the stops to get the child to safety as quickly as possible.
What happens if you are being targeted unfairly by an emergency child pick-up order?
As most of us are aware, during contentious divorces, false accusations are often in play. If you are being targeted for an unfair emergency child pick-up, you need the powerful legal representation Orlando Family Team can provide. We will investigate thoroughly, examine all “evidence,” and interview all witnesses and necessary experts (medical or otherwise) to save your reputation and protect your parental rights.
How Emergency Child Pick-Up Orders Are Served
In some cases, Florida emergency pick-up orders are carried out by law enforcement officials alone. In others, the sheriff or police may arrive to pick up the child accompanied by the complaining parent. Either way, the incident can be traumatic for the child who, beyond feeling confused and frightened, may also feel at-fault.
An Emergency Child Pick-Up Order Should Only Be Requested as a Last Resort
It should always be remembered that involving law enforcement in child custody issues can be seriously detrimental to the child who already feels pushed and pulled by parental battles. If there is any other way to handle the situation, our capable child custody lawyers will help you find it. Sometimes professional negotiations between attorneys, rather than attempted communications between angry parents, produce better outcomes.
Contact Us About to Better Understand Emergency Child Pick-Up Orders
The child custody attorneys at Orlando Family Team have comprehensive knowledge about emergency child pick-up orders in Florida, as well as about all other matters related to child custody and support in our state. You need not be in dire straits to contact us. We are here to help however we can — whether it involves clarifying your rights and responsibilities or rushing to protect your child from impending harm. Contact our Orlando child custody lawyer to schedule an initial free consultation.