It can be terrifying to realize that you or your child is in danger as a result of threats made or actions taken by a co-parent. In some cases, such as when a co-parent threatens to take a child or children from the home, the other parent should take immediate action to prevent harm and minimize time away from their children. Most of the time, the other parent does have a right and an interest in having possession of the children, so you will need to go through legal channels to protect yourself and your children.
Here are some steps you can take if you believe you or your child is in danger because of a co-parent.
- Call 911. One thing a parent should think about if there is immediate danger to the parent and/or children is calling 911 and addressing it that way. Sometimes that may not be a solution because the other parent may have a right to the child and the police may view the situation as a civil case and suggest hiring an attorney.
- Hire an attorney. The next option is speaking to an attorney. If there is immediate danger, an attorney can help you file for a protective order. Your attorney will also help you assemble paperwork, including a summary of what the immediate danger is, and then you can proceed with an emergency hearing before a judge.
- Get an emergency court hearing. At this point, a judge will hopefully have enough information before them in the paperwork to realize there is an immediate need and the children need to be retrieved through an order. You may not get into court immediately, so it is very important for a parent to see an attorney so the timeline isn’t stretched out unnecessarily.
At Sandoval Law Firm we understand the stress of dealing with divorce, child custody and domestic violence. Our firm consists of founding attorney Raul Sandoval Jr. and a dedicated support staff. Mr. Sandoval earned his law degree from Texas Tech University School of Law. Since that time, he has been practicing family law in the Austin area, as well as teaching seminars, classes and other forms of professional development.