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Emergency Ex Parte Motions – CT

Ex Parte Motions for Temporary Child Custody in Connecticut

Westport lawyers take urgent action to protect individuals in dangerous situationsEmergency and Ex-Parte Motions in Connecticut Divorce

If your co-parent poses a serious threat to your children or threatens to violate your parental rights by taking them away, you may need to take quick legal action. At Needle | Cuda, we have ample experience helping Connecticut parents in your situation file an emergency ex parte motion for temporary custody.

What are emergency ex parte motions for child custody?

An ex parte motion is a petition presented to the court without notice to the opposing party due to the urgency of the request. In the family law context, you can use this type of filing to prevent your current or former partner from endangering your children or committing a serious violation of your custody order.

When you file one, you must also sign and file a sworn affidavit that explains why you need this extraordinary relief.

If proper grounds exist, the judge will issue a temporary restraining order pending a hearing. We will prepare an affidavit for you that clearly sets forth the relevant facts to support your motion for emergency ex parte relief.

When to file an emergency ex parte motion

Specific circumstances that might compel a judge to issue an ex parte order include the following:

  • Actual or threatened domestic violence
  • Child neglect or endangerment
  • Actual or threatened kidnapping
  • Intention to take child out of the United States in violation of a custody order
  • Financial maneuvers aimed at preventing a parent from accessing funds needed to raise a child

To seek such relief, you start by filing a set of forms in family court that includes:

  • Application for relief from abuse
  • Affidavit for relief from abuse
  • Request for nondisclosure of location information
  • Restraining order service respondent profile
  • Affidavit concerning children

What relief may be sought in an emergency ex parte application for custody?

An applicant for emergency ex parte custody order may seek temporary legal and physical custody relief with a narrowly defined parenting schedule that is monitored and/or “court supervised.” Under certain conditions relief can include a temporary award of sole custody to the moving parent–meaning no parenting time at all and all decisions may be made by the parent with custody.

An applicant may also seek other forms of specific relief including, but not limited to:

  • An explicit order that a parent may not remove the child(ren) from the State of Connecticut
  • Non-interference direction with respect to visitation, school, and educational program of the child(ren)

Based on the paperwork that is filed, a judge will decide whether to issue an ex parte restraining order and what restraints should be included in it.  Broadly speaking, restraining orders can compel the targeted person to:

  • Refrain from approaching you at home, at work, or in public
  • Refrain from contacting you by phone, text or email
  • Refrain from physically assaulting or threatening you
  • Vacate a residence you share
  • Stay away from your children, despite custody or visitation rights
  • Surrender firearms to authorities

If you are financially dependent on the targeted person, you can also request an order of maintenance requiring him or her to pay child support, rent, utilities and other expenses.

An experienced Connecticut child custody lawyer from our office will advise if the facts in your case meet the appropriate standard and can prepare an affidavit that gives you the best chance of obtaining the order you need to keep your child safe.

What happens at a Connecticut ex parte hearing?

Whether or not the court issues a temporary order in your favor, it will schedule a full hearing on the motion within 14 days. The opposing party must be served with notice at least five days before the hearing. At the hearing, we will present your testimony and any other relevant witnesses and evidence to prove the allegations set forth in your affidavit.

The opposing party’s attorney will have an opportunity to cross-examine you and your witnesses and to present evidence aimed at defeating your motion. After considering this evidence and the law, the court may grant the order you seek or deny relief.

Challenges and limitations of ex parte motions

An ex parte motion poses a number of challenges. The moving party has the burden of proving their entitlement to relief, but might not have much time to prepare due to the emergency circumstances. Orders issued on an ex parte basis are usually tailored narrowly because the target of the order has not had a chance to make their case. Custody disputes can be very emotional so when the hearing occurs, the parent seeking the restraining order could face intense opposition.

This type of legal relief is designed to avert irreparable harm, so while it might be effective to relieve the immediate danger, it likely will not all of the disputes between the parties. We make every effort to overcome these challenges and limitations by providing the strongest possible legal representation when supporting or opposing these motions.

Appeals and post-motion proceedings in Connecticut

If the court rules against you, we can file a timely appeal if we have valid grounds for doing so. If an order is entered and circumstances change, our attorneys can advocate for a modified order.

Contact an attorney to discuss a temporary custody order

Needle | Cuda in Westport represents parties in ex parte motions and other proceedings relating to the entry of temporary custody orders. We provide highly responsive service and effective representation focused on positive results. To arrange a consultation, call us today at 203-557-9500 or contact us online.

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