Mom with physical custody put daughter out

There is a custody order in place where there is shared custody but mom has primary physical custody. This order has been in place for years but mom has not complied and allowed father to see the children on his weekends. He has only seen them 2-5 times a year at birthdays and school visits. There are two daughters involved.

Last Wednesday, The oldest daughter (16) called dad and asked him to pick her up from a friends house at approx 9pm. Daughter says she is homeless. She and her mom got into an argument, mom beat her up (she was limping and bruised), and mom told her to get out. She was made to leave the house at night with nothing in the dark. The daughter has been with dad and plans on living with Dad going forward. The mom has not contacted the daughter or responded to dad’s emails.

Dad tried to change the daughters school Friday because there is no way to get her back and forth to her current school. Mother blocked the transfer because she has final say according to the court order.

What is the next step for dad to get custody immediately so she can live with him and change schools (so she doesn’t miss school)? What is the proper form to file?

Dad should file an ex parte motion in the cause to modify custody seeking an ex parte custody order and make sure a court date is scheduled along with the motion (a court date will be automatically given if an ex parte custody order is granted). An ex parte motion/order is like an “emergency” motion/order. He will need to make sure to allege a substantial change in circumstances affecting the wellbeing of the 16 year-old child and give the basic facts to support this allegation.

Dad should also file a motion and order to appear and show cause (i.e. a contempt motion against Mom).

Anna Ayscue

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

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