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Legal Information: New York


November 9, 2020

Can I get temporary custody in New York?

If you have recently arrived in New York state, and New York is not the home state of the child, a federal law called the UCCJEA allows for a person to file for temporary emergency custody in a state other than the home state if:

  • the child is present in the state; and
    • the child has been abandoned; or
    • it is necessary in an emergency to protect the child because the child, a sibling or a parent of the child is subjected to or threatened with mistreatment or abuse.1

For more information, please see Can I get temporary emergency custody? in our Parental Kidnapping section.

If the child’s home state is New York, and you are currently in the middle of a custody proceeding, often times temporary custody orders are issued while the case waits to be resolved through trial or a settlement where a final order will be issued. Note: The term temporary custody is typically used in family court whereas the term pendente lite custody is often used in supreme court (where divorces are handled). (Pendente lite is a Latin term that means “while the action is pending.”)

1 UCCJEA § 204(a)