Emergency Custody in Oklahoma

Emergency Custody in Oklahoma

An emergency exists when the Judge finds that permanent harm will likely result to the child if unless custody is changed. Unlike most court hearings, an emergency custody hearing can be held immediately under Oklahoma law. At the initial hearing only you and your attorney will be present before the Judge. The Judge will determine whether temporary custody needs to be changed. A final hearing will be set so the defending party can an opportunity to respond to the allegations.

The final hearing is a non-jury trial. Witnesses will be called and evidence presented. All of the procedural and evidentiary trial rules apply, such as hearsay, authenticating evidence, and cross-examination. These rules make it extremely difficult for an individual to obtain or defend against a change in custody without a lawyer.

A consultation with one of our attorneys can help determine if a legal emergency exists and custody can be changed. If an attorney determines an emergency may exist, the appropriate legal documents will be drafted and in most cases, we will assist you in court the same day.

Common Examples of Emergencies

Many situations can constitute an Oklahoma child custody emergency. Some of the more common examples are drug use, living or exposing the minor to a sex-offender, child neglect, DHS emergencies and child abuse.

What is an ex-parte emergency custody order?

Ex-parte means the order was obtained without the other party to the case being present. Ex-parte orders are not permanent. Only after legal notice and an opportunity to be heard is given to the other party can a permanent order be entered.

Is the order effective immediately?

Yes. Once the judge signs the order, it is effective and Oklahoma law enforcement officers will be empowered to assist you if there is an issue getting custody.

What happens if you do show up at the show cause hearing?

There are virtually no allowed excuses for not appearing. You will be in default and you will lose automatically.