Custody is defined as the guardianship of someone or something. An emergency custody is when someone or a place such as an agency asks for full custody of a minor child because the minor child was abused by his/ her guardian by either of the following ways:
- • Sexual abuse;
- • Cruelty;
- • Physical injury; and
- • Neglect.
When a person asks for an emergency custody, the person is usually the parent of the abused child who did not get the child custody when he/she divorced his/ her former spouse.
In the state of Virginia, a person or an organization can file for emergency custody of a minor child if certain conditions occurred. These include:
- Abuse – the person who has the child custody is abusing the child in certain ways. These ways may include:
- Sexual abuse;
- Abuse by threatening the child to take illegal drugs;
- An abuse that can cause the child to die; and
- Physical abuse.
- A felony crime – the guardian of the minor child has committed a crime that will lead to a serious punishment of imprisonment for a number of years and a huge fine to be paid.
- Neglect – the guardian does not show any interest or attention towards the minor child he/ she has custody to. This can be shown in a number of ways. These may include:
- The child’s clothes;
- The child’s shelter;
- The child’s nutrition and physical health;
- The child’s mental health;
- The guardian does not provide medical or dental attention; and
- The child is not taken to emergency facilities when needed.
How is an emergency custody filed in the state of Virginia?
a. The person asking for the emergency custody of a minor child must prove that the child lived in the state of Virginia for a minimum of six months before filing for the emergency custody.
b. The person asking for the custody must show why he/ she has the right to custody instead of the one who has the custody of the minor child at the moment of the trial. This can be done in various ways which include proving the following:
- The child was a subject to child abuse by the current guardian;
- The child was subjected to bad influence by the current guardian; or
- The child was a subject to neglect by the current guardian.
c. Provide the information needed by the UCCJ ( Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction) such as the child’s previous residential locations, the child’s guardian in each location and the cases the child was tangled in such as a divorce between the child’s parents.
d. The person asking for the emergency custody must ask the court to call for the child’s current guardian.
e. The person who asked for the emergency custody waits for the court to decide a date for a full hearing to judge the case.
f. After a full hearing, the person asking for the emergency custody will wait for a full investigation by an agency that was told by the court to investigate the case.
g. After the investigation, the final decision will be made regarding the matter of which person take the custody of the minor child. It decides if the current guardian will remain as one or the person who asked for the emergency custody will become the guardian.