When custody arrangements are created, they often are done with the mindset that the parties will return to court after a certain amount of time has passed to discuss the terms of custody once more. However, sometimes situations may arise that require immediate action from the court to amend custody. In these situations, expedited custody, or expedited relief, may be considered as a potential solution to the problem. Philadelphia Family Court can treat these matters with the urgency they deserve.
What Is Expedited Custody?
Expedited custody is a term that refers to the act of urging the court to push forward the date of a custody evaluation or re-evaluation. Expedited custody motions are exclusive to Philadelphia county. Normally, a majority of custody review dates are set several months in advance. A motion for expedited custody can reduce this time to a matter of a few weeks, or possibly even sooner in extreme circumstances, such as emergencies that endanger the child. If an expedited custody hearing is granted both parties will be in front of a judge much sooner than they would if they were to wait for their scheduled hearing. However, not just any case can be expedited.
When Can Expedited Custody Be Used?
Expedited custody can only be brought up in certain circumstances. Typically, in order to bring a motion for expedited custody, the parents must have already established a custody agreement, and one parent must refuse the other's visitation or custody rights. Some situations where expedited custody should be requested include:
- A parent refuses the other's visitation rights: If parents have shared custody, the custody agreement will typically establish some sort of schedule for when a child can be with a parent. When this is violated, it may be appropriate to seek an expedited custody hearing.
- A parent relocates without notifying the court: Relocation to areas that make it difficult for both parents to share custody must typically be approved by the court. If one parent relocates far away, this may be grounds for an expedited hearing.
- A parents travels with the child without notifying the other: When a parent takes a child away on a vacation, typically they must notify the other to ensure that no custody terms are being violated. If a parent travels with the child and violates a custody agreement, the other may want to consider pushing for an expedited hearing.
- A temporary custody order is in place: If the only custody order in place is the temporary custody order from a divorce, it may be necessary to request an expedited hearing to resolve the matter before it becomes a problem.
- There is an immediate threat of danger to the child: If the child is in any sort of immediate danger, expedited custody hearings should be the first thing in mind. The court may even prioritize this, depending on circumstances.
If you or a loved one is engaged in matters of Family Law, contact attorney Joseph D. Lento today.