Keith B. Schulefand, Esq.
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Local: 716-568-4453

Can you get custody of your kids in an emergency?

The holiday season is supposed to be a time of joy with family and friends. Unfortunately, many families aren't experiencing "peace on earth" right now. When one parent is abusive, neglectful or otherwise unable to provide appropriate care for his or her children, it can turn the holidays into one of the most stressful and dangerous times of the year.

Often, parenting plans are structured in a way that lets children spend every other holiday with their mother or father. But what happens if you fear that letting your children out of your sight will result in them being harmed or even abducted? Can you prevent your children from visiting the other parent? What if you don't have custody in the court's eyes? Do you have any options?

Yes, you do have options. The good news is that you may be able to obtain a temporary custody order to protect your kids.

The informational site womenslaw.org points out that if you ask the New York courts for an order of protection against the abusive parent, you can seek temporary custody of your children at the same time. Even if you aren't seeking an order of protection (sometimes called a restraining order), you may still be able to request temporary custody in New York, if this is your child's home state. The basic requirement is that you or your child must be facing extreme danger from the person who currently has custody.

Of course, proving that you or your kids are in immediate danger of abuse can be challenging. In these difficult and frightening situations, it pays to have a strong advocate on your side. Consider contacting a New York lawyer who is skilled in custody and domestic violence issues and who can act as your champion.

Remember, you don't have to let fear rule the holidays this year. You can take action to protect yourself and those you love.

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