Grounds for emergency custody change?

Good Morning.

This weekend my 2 children (6 and 8) were at their fathers for their normal weekend time with their dad… On Sunday I get a text from him telling me to come get them and then a call from his new wife telling me to come get them ( they normally come home either late (7pm) Sunday or early Monday morning per our agreement… this triggered me to be a bit freaked out because he also doesn’t like me coming to pick them up from his house. I get there and the kids are pushed out the front door and the door shut quickly both my children are crying. We ask them whats wrong and they say dad and step mom were fighting all morning… later my son says his dad was hitting himself and calling himself stupid and things like that… I text the step mom and ask about what happened because my kids are clearly freaking out over what they saw and heard.She says they were fighting but that he didn’t hit himself . The next day My son’s teacher calls because he had a pretty rough day at school and he told her the same story about dads house. I asked my daughter to tell me what she saw and she then confirmed that her dad was hitting himself… I am VERY concerned about sending them to their dads. What can I do?

If you have a court order, then you must follow the terms of the order, including sending the children to their father’s for the next scheduled visit. Failure to do so could cause you to violate the order.

Assuming your custody arrangement is in a court order, it can be modified upon a showing of a substantial change in circumstances affecting the wellbeing of the minor children. A one time occurrence is probably not enough to show a substantial change in circumstances.

You can file a motion for ex parte emergency custody if you can show that there is a substantial risk of bodily injury or sexual abuse to the minor children.

Anna Ayscue

Attorney with Rosen Law Firm Cary • Chapel Hill • Durham • Raleigh • Wake Forest

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