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How to Get an Emergency Custody Order in CA

If you believe your child is in immediate danger or is suffering from abuse or neglect at the hands of another parent, you should contact Child Protective Services (CPS) immediately. CPS is required to investigate reports where a child is in immediate danger within 24 hours. You can follow this link to find a list of phone numbers for every county in California. To learn more about how the CPS handles cases, click here.

Knowing the process for filing and receiving an emergency custody order in California can help you protect your child from an abusive or neglectful parent.

Filing for an Emergency Custody Order in California

To file for an emergency custody order in California, you need to go to your county courthouse and fill out the following forms:

  1. Form #FL-300, which explains why you're filing for emergency custody;
  2. Form #FL-305, which acts as a declaration of intent for a temporary custody order;
  3. Form #FL-310, which acts as an application for temporary custody; and
  4. Form $FL-330, which acts as a proof-of-service for the parent you are filing against.

An attorney can help you fill out and file these documents, and will fight for your parental rights during the following court processes.

Once you file for an emergency custody order, you must have a third-party (often a law enforcement professional) serve the order to the other parent. If the CPS is involved in the case, they will probably take certain measures, such as interviewing parents, children, and conducting house visits.

If the court determines your case has merit, the judge will award you an emergency custody hearing. If the judge rules in your favor, you will receive a temporary custody order, preventing the allegedly dangerous parent from having custody. Another court date will be set for an official custody hearing. At this point, the judge may also require the other parent to take certain actions, such as attending anger-management therapy.

At the final hearing, the judge determines whether a new custody arrangement, such as revoking custody from the allegedly abusive parent, is necessary.

We can help you pursue your child's best interests in the courtroom. To learn more, contact us online or via phone at (951) 779-1610.