Emergency Child Custody in North Carolina

Board Certified Family Law Specialist Matt Arnold answers the question: “What can I do to gain custody of my child in North Carolina?”


Your child’s health and welfare are likely your biggest concern. When a child is in danger it is essential to take immediate action. When a child is in danger, you may file for emergency child custody. Emergency child custody is a request through the court system. The courts take child endangerment seriously and therefore they have a process in place to protect a child from harm. If you believe that the child is in danger you may file for emergency child custody. A child custody attorney will assist you with the request and will guide the process to protect the minor from any potential harm.


emergency-exit-Charlotte-Monroe-Mooresville-child-custody-attorney-300x225Grounds for Emergency Child Custody


North Carolina allows you to file for emergency child custody in some circumstances. The courts are concerned with the well-being of children and will make certain that they protect the child whenever possible. A child must be considered to be in immediate danger to seek emergency child custody. Some of the reasons to make this request include:


  • Physical injury
  • Abuse
  • Neglect
  • Abduction


A child may be abducted by a non-custodial parent, such as relocating with a child without a court order. A person may not request emergency child custody simply because they do not like or agree with the parenting decisions of the other parent. The child must be in some type of immediate danger in order to obtain emergency child custody.


How to File for Emergency Child Custody in North Carolina


Typically, decisions made by a judge in a child custody case are made with both parents in attendance. The judge will have the opportunity to listen to both sides of the case. However, an emergency child custody request is handled differently. Because the child is considered to be in a dangerous situation, the judge must take action quickly. In most of these situations, the order is made without the presence of the other parent. When only one party is present the order is made ex-parte. To request emergency child custody you must provide clear evidence, statements, and proof of the harmful situation so the judge can make a good decision.


Some of the evidence you will need to provide to the court include such things as the current child custody order, information about any prior related court cases, and any current or pending charges of abuse against the other parent. It is essential that the information you provide be truthful and accurate. If the judge decides to grant emergency child custody it will be on a temporary basis. The order will be in effect only until a hearing, which is typically set within ten days. At that hearing, both parents will have the chance to provide information and evidence in their case. The judge will then put an order in place that will remain until either party requests permanent custody.


Child custody issues are often complex. If you are in a situation that could be harmful or dangerous to your child, you must take action immediately. Get a phone, video or in-person consultation by calling at (704) 370-2828 to speak with our detail-oriented and well-versed lawyers with offices in Charlotte, Lake Norman, and Monroe, please contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC today or find additional resources here.






The family law practice group at Arnold & Smith, PLLC includes four Board-Certified Family Law specialists and one Child Welfare Law specialist, as well as several attorneys with many years of family law experience that are committed to providing a powerful voice to individuals facing the often-tumultuous issues in this area of law. The range of issues our family law clients may be facing include pre- and post-nuptial agreements; separation agreements; post-separation support; child support (both temporary and permanent); absolute divorce; divorce from bed and board; military divorce; equitable distribution of assets; child custody (both temporary and permanent); retirement benefits and divorce; alimony and spousal support; adoption; and emancipation. Because this area of the law is usually emotionally charged and complicated, the family law attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC act with the utmost dedication to ensure that each client understands his or her options, and then act to achieve the best result possible for that client’s particular situation.








Image Credit:




See Our Related Video from our YouTube channel:




See Our Related Blog Posts:

Can I Get an Emergency Child Custody Order?


When Can I File for Emergency Child Custody in North Carolina?

Contact Information