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Important: Even if courts are closed, you can still file for a protection order and other emergency relief. See our FAQ on Courts and COVID-19.
Legal Information: California
Can I get temporary emergency custody?
Unless both parents agree that a temporary custody order should be granted, a judge in California can only grant an ex parte temporary custody order if there is a proof of immediate harm to the child (e.g., domestic violence or sexual abuse of the child) or immediate risk that the child will be removed from the state of California.1
It is almost always better to have a lawyer helping you file for temporary emergency custody. For legal referrals, go to CA Finding a Lawyer.
You may also be able to get temporary custody as part of a an emergency domestic violence restraining order (DVRO).2 In order to learn under what circumstances an emergency DVRO is issued, please see What types of orders are there? How long do they last?
1 Ann.Cal.Fam.Code §§ 3061;3064
2 Ann.Cal.Fam.Code § 6252(b)-(d)
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