Arizona Emergency Child Custody Order

Arizona Emergency Child Custody Order

According to the Maricopa Superior Court website:

You can file for a temporary (emergency) modification of custody and/or parenting time without advance notice to the other party if:

1) You’ve already filed, or will file concurrently (at the same time) a regular request for changes to your Legal Decision Making (custody) orders and parenting time

2) Someone’s about to cause “serious, immediate bodily harm” to the children or their safety is in immediate jeopardy.

Notice the word “immediate” is mentioned here. Emergency orders are for exactly that, an emergency. This doesn’t mean if the other parent shows up late for custodial hand-over events it’s an emergency, although it is inconsiderate and might be violating court orders, there’s another legal method to modify that behavior.

You can’t just file emergency orders without a good cause. You need to be able to give specific, verifiable facts about what constitutes an emergency. Remember, you are bumped to the head of the line of people waiting to see a judge, so you need to be able to explain why this is a priority: your children are in physical danger if your emergency order isn’t granted.

The Maricopa Superior Court website also states:

If it turns out that what you said is not true or filed without good legal reason, the judge may find you in contempt of court, order payment to the court or to the other party for costs or damages resulting from the wrongful filing of this Motion, or impose other sanctions.”

In other words, if you’re making false allegations to file emergency orders, it’s not going to go over well, so make sure you’re in the right on this. In most cases, it should be obvious what constitutes an emergency. A family lawyer in Phoenix can help advise you on when it is appropriate to file an emergency order.

One case illustrates a true emergency; a parent leaving their toddler-aged child with a young child, alone in the middle of the night, to go out drinking.

Here’s a general guide to the “home alone” scenario.

When can you leave a child home alone?

Here in Arizona, CPS doesn’t designate when a child can be left home alone:

But common sense needs to be used, especially with very young children. Leaving your six-year-old son, and three-year-old daughter at 3:00 a.m. to go out drinking is a good way to be slapped with an emergency order and possibly criminal charges.


Contact Enholm Law today by calling us at (602) 889-6273, or leaving us a message on our Contact page.