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Emergency Child Custody in New York

Emergency Child Custody Lawyer in New York

You never want to be in a situation where your child is at risk of harm from the other parent. Harm materializes in different ways, from physical violence to kidnapping to parental substance abuse. In New York, options are available to help protect your child when the circumstances warrant it.

If your child is at risk of harm while with the other parent, you may want to be prepared and get immediate legal help. At The Law Office of Leah T. Wills PLLC, our child custody lawyer in Manhattan will help you file the petition you need and walk you through the process. We will answer your questions and work hard to protect your rights and well as the well-being of your child. Contact us for an initial free consultation at 1 888-524-9776.

Meaning of Emergency Child Custody 

It is not unusual for the schedule of a court to be very busy, so that waiting for an available court hearing date could take to long in an emergency situation where a child may be at risk. A parent or grandparent can apply to the court for an ex parte emergency custody of the child at risk of harm to go to court the same day or the next day. Court decisions reached in an emergency hearing are outlined in a temporary child custody order and another hearing is scheduled to see if this decision would be made into a permanent order or an amended permanent order. 

Grounds for Emergency Child Custody in New York

New York courts allow emergency ex parte child custody orders for immediate emergency reasons that include: 

  • Plans to Kidnap: When one parent becomes aware or suspects that the other parent plans to kidnap the minor child when they next have access to them, grounds for emergency custody may exist.
  • Child Abuse: Abuse of a child is never acceptable and is a common reason for an emergency custody change.
  • Drug Addiction: A parent that is addicted to drugs or alcohol may not be able to provide proper care to a child. Drug addiction is grounds for emergency child custody.
  • Incarceration: When one parent is incarcerated, there may be grounds for immediate emergency child custody. 

There are other reasons courts issue these orders, especially if it involves a high risk to children. 

Who Can You Seek Emergency Child Custody in New York?

Often it is the other parent who applies for emergency custody. However, New York courts grant  also grant other family members child custody in emergency situations. 


A parent who believes their child's well-being is in imminent danger is able to seek emergency child custody.


When grandparents believe their grandchild is being treated badly by the parents, grandparents may be able to obtain emergency child custody.

Other Family Member

Any other family member, such as an aunt or uncle, may be able to intervene for emergency custody when they are concerned that their minor relative is not receiving proper care. 

Child Protection Services CPS or ACS

CPS and ACS are New York state agencies that may file for emergency custody of a child they believe to be in a dangerous environment. State agencies are able to place children with other family members or in foster care. 

Grant Of Emergency 

When the Court hears an emergency petition for child custody, it must decide if child custody should remain as currently ordered or if it should be modified. When making this decision, the court's paramount concern is the best interest of the child. To aid in making its decision, the court may consider different types of evidence, including:

  • Witnesses
  • Pictures and videos
  • Police reports
  • Medical reports
  • State agency reports

The court will consider any evidence that helps inform it of a decision that reflects what is in the child's best interests. The court may also request specific information it feels is necessary to reach that decision. 

Child Custody Child Custody Lawyer Wall Street New York

If you fear for your child's well being and safety while they are with the other parent, you may be able to obtain an emergency custody order. Contact The Law Office of Leah T. Wills PLLC at 1 888-524-9776 to schedule an initial free consultation. 

The Law Office of Leah T. Wills PLLC
11 Broadway, Suite 615,
New York, NY 10004
1 888-524-9776
The Law Office of Leah T. Wills PLLC
11 Broadway, Suite 615,
New York, NY 10004
1 888-524-9776