Parents have a solemn (and legal) duty to protect and provide for their children. While most parents truly want the best for their kids and work diligently to uphold their parental responsibilities, others fail to meet even their children's most basic needs or take abusive actions that jeopardize their welfare.
Thankfully, the safety of children is something that Oklahoma courts take very seriously and, when a child is facing an immediate risk of harm due to a parent's abuse or neglect, the other parent (or another adult) can petition for emergency custody. If an emergency custody order is granted, the court will work swiftly to remove the child from the dangerous situation.
Though most allegations of abuse or neglect are made with the intention of ensuring a child's safety and well-being, some are made by vindictive co-parents with an ax to grind—and if you find yourself on the wrong end of a child abuse or neglect accusation, the consequences can be devastating.
Whether you're seeking emergency custody of an abused or neglected child, or have been accused of—or charged with—such crimes, you need a knowledgeable and experienced attorney to protect your rights. Fortunately, you've come to the right firm. At the Law Office of Aaron D. Bundy, PLC, we provide aggressive representation for victims and a vigorous defense for the accused. Here's what you need to know.
Oklahoma Emergency Custody Hearings
In order to initiate a hearing seeking emergency custody of an abused or neglected child, you must have one of the following:
- An independent report from the police or the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS) that documents the hazardous situation
- A notarized affidavit from someone with direct knowledge of the dangerous situation
Additionally, the situation in question must be likely to cause long-lasting or irreparable harm. Examples of circumstances that may warrant an emergency custody order include:
- Physical abuse
- Sexual abuse
- Drug abuse in the home
- Failure to protect a child from abuse
- Neglect (failure to provide adequate food, shelter, clothing, protection, supervision, or medical care)
Due to the urgency of the matter, these cases are usually heard within 72 hours (three days) of filing the petition for a hearing. Need to initiate an emergency custody hearing? We can help.
Extending an Emergency Custody Order
Your need for strong legal representation doesn't end once you've been granted emergency custody. Most emergency guardianships are temporary, which means you'll need a well-versed attorney to help you fight for a more permanent solution for keeping your child safe. Concerned about what will happen to your child once your emergency guardianship ends? We can review your case, and help you understand your legal rights and options.
How an Emergency Custody Award Affects an Accused Parent
If you were accused of abusing or neglecting your child and the court granted emergency custody to their other parent (or another caregiver), you may lose primary custody (if you were the custodial parent), or have your time with your child restricted or supervised. You may also be required to undergo counseling or complete parenting classes. In some cases, you could lose all rights to custody and visitation, or even face criminal charges. With so much at stake, having skillful legal representation is absolutely essential. We provide a strong defense against accusations or charges of child abuse, molestation, indecent exposure, neglect, and other crimes arising from familial relationships.
Consult Our Attorneys About Your Child Abuse or Emergency Custody Case
When your child is at risk of imminent harm due to abuse or neglect, our highly-experienced family law attorneys can help you fight for emergency custody. We can also fight against false allegations of child abuse or neglect to ensure that your rights—and your ability to maintain an ongoing relationship with your child—are protected. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for a private consultation.