This is the next post in my series on the filing of an emergency child custody request by Peoria, Illinois fathers. My last article provided an overview of topics which this series will be addressing and it also stressed the need to call a lawyer immediately if you believe your son or daughter is in danger. In this article I will discuss what the Court will and will not consider an “emergency.” If you are a dad and are in need of assistance then contact my office today to speak with an attorney.
It is important to understand that Family Court Judges will only consider situations to be “emergencies” under specific situations. These situations typically entail some type of immediate danger or threat to the child. Such instances may include a parent who is regularly high on drugs in the presence of the child and, as a result, the child is essentially unattended. Cases which involve a parent who is committing criminal activity, in the presence of a child, will also often be considered an emergency. Also, for obvious reasons, the Court will take swift action if there is reason to believe that a child is being abused or that they are in some sort of physical danger. Unless there is some issue along these lines, it is important to understand that the Court is unlikely to grant an expedited hearing.
The first step in requesting an emergency custody hearing is to file a Motion with the Court. This is a formal document in which a parent will state why custody should be changed, what the new arrangement should be, and the extent to which the other parent should receive visitation. It will also be necessary to file a request that the Court hear the Motion on an immediate basis. An initial hearing will be held and the Court will decide whether custody should be modified, on a temporary basis, with a more permanent decision being made after a future hearing. If the Court feels a trial is justified then discovery will begin shortly after the initial hearing. If custody is changed then the extent to which the other parent will receive visitation will depend on the facts of the case. If for example, it is shown that the other parent is abusing “hard” drugs (such as heroin) then the Court may require that their visitation be supervised for the immediate future. How the Court will rule in any given case will always be dependent on the specific facts of the situation.
One point I cannot stress enough is that fathers should contact a child custody lawyer immediately if they believe their child is in some type of danger. The longer a dad waits to go to Court then, typically, the more likely the Judge is to find that the matter is not truly an “emergency.” If you feel you need immediate assistance then contact my office to speak with a Peoria fathers’ rights attorney. I also service the cities of Bloomington, Eureka, Galesburg, Morton, Normal, Pekin, Springfield, and Washington. I also serve the counties of Fulton, Knox, LaSalle, Marshall, Mason, McLean, Putnam, Rock Island, Schuyler, Stark, Tazewell, and Woodford.