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Legal Information: Pennsylvania


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Laws current as of December 15, 2023

Can I get a temporary custody order?

A person who has the right to file for custody in Pennsylvania may be able to get an interim (temporary) custody order for physical custody, legal custody, partial physical custody, or supervised physical custody.1 The procedures for getting emergency custody may vary from county to county.

If you recently came to Pennsylvania from another state (and Pennsylvania is not the child’s home state), a judge may grant you temporary emergency custody if it is necessary in an emergency to protect the child because the child or a sibling or parent of the child is subjected to or threatened with mistreatment or abuse.2 Such a temporary order usually lasts for an amount of time that a judge believes would be enough to allow you to go back to the child’s home state to file an appropriate custody petition there.3

It is generally best to seek the advice of an experienced custody lawyer if you believe that circumstances in your case need the court’s immediate intervention.

1 23 Pa.C.S.A. § 5323(b)
2 23 Pa.C.S.A. § 5424(a)
3 23 Pa.C.S.A. § 5424(b)