Can I get temporary emergency custody?
You may be able to file for temporary emergency custody (legal decision-making) in a state other than the "home state" if your child is present in the state AND:
- the child has been abandoned; or
- it is necessary in an emergency to protect the child because either the child, a sibling, or a parent of the child (including you) is subjected to or threatened with mistreatment or abuse.1
If you are a domestic violence victim and you have to flee to another state to protect your or your children’s safety, you may want to file for temporary emergency custody in that state. However, if at all possible, you should talk to a lawyer about your situation before you leave to get advice on how to best present your situation in court and to get advice as to whether or not you may qualify.
Note: If the child’s home state is not Arizona, and you fled to Arizona where you were granted a temporary emergency custody order, the Arizona order may remain in effect until a final custody order is obtained from the home state. The temporary order from Arizona may be able to become a final custody order when six months have passed AND:
- no custody order is granted by the home state; or
- no custody action has been started by either parent in the home state.2
1 A.R.S. § 25-1034(A)
1 A.R.S. § 25-1034(B)-(C)