How to Get Temporary Custody of a Child: The Steps You Need to Take

Do you have concerns about how to get temporary custody of a child? Issues regarding children can be incredibly emotional, and it’s often a good idea to engage a lawyer. Temporary custody for children is used when there’s an immediate need to remove a child or a specific caregiver from the household — usually for matters of safety. When someone applies for temporary custody, the courts will require proof that a custody change is needed.

A form called “application for temporary guardianship” is the first part of how to get temporary custody of a child. This must first be filled out and filed with the court. Then, an attorney “ad litem” will be assigned to represent the interests of the child. Courts will look at several factors to determine custody. This may include income, mental and physical health of existing guardians, evidence of unfitness (criminal activity, abuse, violence, mental illness, addiction, etc.), and in some cases, the wishes of the child.

When you consider how to get temporary custody of a child, it’s important to keep in mind that unforeseen circumstances can prevent parents or guardians from providing proper care. If a parent or guardian is out of town or unavailable, ill or hospitalized, or incarcerated, a temporary custody order can happen voluntarily without court approval. Only a signed and notarized agreement between the current legal guardian and the new caregiver is needed for temporary guardianship.

Not sure where, when, or how to get temporary custody of a child? In most places, any local court in the same county as the child’s primary residence should be able to help. If you’re not sure, consult an attorney beforehand. While a family lawyer is not essential when seeking temporary custody, it’s never a bad idea to have someone in your corner who knows the law, the local courts, and the basic facts about your situation. To consult with an experienced family law attorney, contact Jennifer Espronceda at 210-514-1415 or use the available contact form.

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