child crying in the cornerThis is the first post in a series of articles addressing specific circumstances in which a parent may seek an emergency change in a child custody order in Melbourne, Florida. We have previously written a series about emergency child custody changes in general. Given the importance of this topic, we feel it is important to explore specific situations which a judge may consider urgent enough to justify a revision to a previous custody order. If you believe your child may be in imminent danger, contact the police immediately. If you need assistance seeking an emergency modification to a custody order, contact our office as soon as possible to speak to an attorney.

In this series, we will explore the following situations which may give rise to an emergency child custody change:

  • Parental drug use
  • Alcoholism and alcohol abuse
  • Child abuse by a parent
  • When the other parent is engaging in criminal activity
  • Child neglect

When a parent believes their child to be in danger when in the care of the other parent, the situation can be extremely stressful. It is important to understand the types of scenarios in which a court may take action to modify a custody arrangement on an emergency basis. First, when a parent’s drug use places a child in immediate danger, it may warrant an emergency change of custody. Use or possession of “hard” drugs in the presence of the child or ongoing impairment from prescription or other drugs that endangers a child may constitute an emergency in the court’s view. Second, an emergency may be deemed to exist in cases involving a parent who is endangering a child by abusing alcohol. Third, for obvious reasons, if a child is being physically, sexually, or emotionally abused by a parent, the court will take swift action to protect the child and modify custody. Fourth, if a parent is committing criminal activity in the presence of a child, a court will also often consider this to be an emergency. Last, a judge will often modify an order if there is reason to believe that a child is being seriously neglected by a parent while in their care.

As a concerned parent, one may believe grounds exist to seek an emergency custody change. These issues are often emotionally charged and contentious. I cannot overemphasize the importance of retaining an experienced family law attorney to assist you throughout the process. Contact our office today to speak with a Melbourne, Florida child custody lawyer. We also serve the cities of Titusville, Cocoa, Palm Bay, Grant, Valkaria, and Rockledge, as well as in the Indian River County areas of Fellsmere, Sebastian, Vero Beach, Indian River Shores, and Orchid.