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What is Temporary Custody?

When people are going through a divorce or child custody case in Oregon, either the petitioner or respondent may file a motion for a temporary custody order. This motion can be filed at the same time as the petition for dissolution or the petition to establish child custody or afterward. Temporary custody orders are used to establish where the child will live and who will have the authority to make legal decisions for him or her while the case is pending until the final orders are issued after the case. Two different types of temporary custody orders can be issued, including an emergency temporary custody order and a status quo temporary custody order.

Emergency Temporary Custody Orders

Under ORS 107.097, parents can only secure emergency temporary custody orders without the presence of the other parent or a hearing in a few specific circumstances. Before a judge will issue this type of order ex parte, the court must find that the child is in immediate danger when he or she is with the other parent. Some examples of the reasons why a parent might be granted an emergency custody order include domestic violence, child abuse, drug or alcohol abuse, or driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs with the child present in the car.

To secure this type of order, the parent must submit an affidavit to the court with the motion in which he or she alleges that the child faces immediate danger when in the care of the other parent under penalty of perjury. If the court grants the motion, the parent must then serve a copy of the affidavit, the motion, and the order to the other parent. That parent can then object to the order by requesting a hearing. An emergency temporary custody order will last until the hearing or until the end of the custody or dissolution case.

Status Quo Temporary Custody Orders

The second type of temporary custody order is a status quo temporary custody order. Under ORS 107.138, this type of order is not issued on an ex parte basis. Instead, either parent can file a motion asking the court to issue temporary custody orders to maintain the status quo while a modification of the child custody case is pending. The requesting parent must submit an affidavit where the child has lived during the past year, with whom the child normally lives, and the child's daily schedule.

The requesting parent must serve the other parent with notice of the hearing at least 21 days before it is scheduled. That parent will have the opportunity to object to the status quo order. If this order is issued, it will enjoin both parents from changing where the child lives, interrupting the child's normal routine and schedule, interfering with each other's parenting time, hiding the child, or leaving the state with the child. If the court issues a status quo order, it will last until the court issues its final judgment and orders.

Get Help From an Attorney at Baxter Harder, LLC

If you are getting divorced or going through a child custody case, you might be able to secure temporary custody orders. An experienced family law attorney at Baxter Harder, LLC can review the circumstances and explain which type of order might be appropriate. Contact us today to schedule a consultation by calling us at (541) 238-9210.

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