Oklahoma Emergency Custody Orders are designed to protect children from an immediate risk of harm. In Oklahoma, thousands of Emergency Orders are issued each year. Most are issued on good valid facts while in some other cases they may be issued on a more dubious basis. A Ponca City woman recently faced arrest and emergency child custody loss. She faces charges on drug possession and child endangerment. The 25 year old woman called police to report her 1-year old child ate a rock of crack cocaine. The police took the child to the hospital and later into DHS emergency custody. While this is one example of how emergency custody operates, there are other ways it works also.
Emergency Custody of Children
Emergency custody laws are found under Title 43 § 107.4 of the Oklahoma Statutes. This statute provides the elements and also a timeline for the proceeding. To initiate an emergency custody hearing you must:
- Have an independent report from the police or DHS documenting the dangerous situation OR
- Have a notarized affidavit from someone with personal knowledge of the dangerous situation AND
- The situation must be likely to cause harm or irreparable damage to the child.
A “dangerous situation” can be various types of circumstances: drug addicted parents, child abusers, unwillingness to protect children from someone else in the home who is abusive or addicted, etc. Further, courts must hear emergency cases like these within 72 hours of filing. If the courts fails to do this, then you can file another motion and the court will have to hear the case within 24 hours at that point.
YOU MAY ALSO FIND OUR ARTICLE ON DOMESTIC ABUSE IN THE PRESENCE OF A CHILD HELPFUL.
Emergency Custody and Its Effects
Emergency custody awards have effects far beyond the immediate moment. If the award of custody is against you, then you could lose all rights to visitation and custody of your child. Termination occurs in the most serious of situations, but is a possibility. On the other hand, you may lose primary custody and have the custody agreement modified in favor of the moving party. This would mean that you could receive less time with your child or face supervision during visitation. Courts will likely require you to undergo therapeutic programs or parenting classes to regain custody rights.
Let Us Help
Our child custody attorneys understand the legal system and how emergency child custody can affect a person’s life, relationships and the health and safety of your children. So don’t go through the process alone. Children are too important to gamble on. If you find yourself in an emergency custody situation, call our offices today. We can help you get a valid order or protect you if an order was falsely issued against you. Get a Free Consultation 918.743.2233