Temporary Child Custody in Charlotte, North Carolina


If you are not the custodial parent of your child, but you feel that your child is in imminent danger, the first thing you want to do is make sure they are safe. This includes pursuing legal remedies to remove your child from any danger, even if this danger is caused by the other parent. When your child is in danger, it will be extremely stressful, but you must make sure to not make any mistakes that will make things worse.

One option you may have is to seek emergency custody through the courts; however, this may not be enough. It may be necessary to seek permanent legal custody through modification of a current custody order to keep your minor child safe. The experienced family law attorneys at Melone Hatley, P.C. can step in and help you to protect your family from these unthinkable scenarios.

Why Choose Melone Hatley, P.C.?
  • Experienced, aggressive and caring child custody lawyers
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Questions regarding child custody? Contact our office today or schedule a call with one of our Client Services Coordinators.


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What Are the Different Types of Child Custody Orders in North Carolina?

In North Carolina, there are two types of custody orders; temporary and permanent. Each has a different impact under the law, particularly regarding what it takes to modify or nullify the order. If you are unsure where you stand with your current custody order, contact the law office of Melone Hatley, P.C. either through our online contact form or by calling us at 800-479-8124, and we can work with you to review your case and fight for our child.

Temporary Custody Orders

A temporary custody order is issued as a stopgap while a custody proceeding is ongoing. These orders are legally binding but, unlike a permanent custody order, will be eventually be modified. Emergency orders, also called ex-parte orders, are a type of order under family law that is issued to protect the minor child from physical harm. This can be from serious violations of a custody order or from placing the child at real physical risk.

If a temporary order is not challenged and the opposing party does not participate in the hearings, the order can become permanent.

Permanent Custody Orders

A permanent order is generally the final order passed down by the courts at the end of a proceeding or custody and visitation trial. While it is possible to change a permanent order, it does require serious and immediate circumstances that represent a clear and present danger to the child or a substantial and material change in the circumstances impacting the child since the order was entered.

It can be difficult to modify a child custody order and require further hearings with the necessary evidence to prove the change in circumstances. Because of this, it is a good idea to contact a family law attorney in North Carolina to provide legal advice, collect evidence, and help you to protect your child as you pursue the case.

Under What Conditions Can You Seek Emergency Custody?

An emergency child custody order is issued when the courts feel it is in the child’s best interest for the court to intervene and save the child from some sort of immediate danger. In many cases, an emergency custody court order can be initiated due to input from child protective services, but this is not strictly necessary. Reasons for an emergency custody agreement include:

Abduction and Removal from the State

When either parent, be it the custodial parent or the noncustodial parent, removes the child from the state without the consent of the other and outside of the terms of any custody order or parenting plan, this can be considered abduction. Not only will this sometimes result in re-evaluation of the custody of the child, but it can result in criminal charges for abduction or parental kidnapping. Law enforcement can sometimes become involved in returning the child to their home state and arrest the offending parent.

Immediate Physical Danger or Harm

Cases of child abuse are some of the more common reasons the courts can use the emergency motion to re-evaluate a custody case. When a child is in immediate danger of being subject to domestic violence, is in the presence of a parent who habitually engages in substance abuse, or is at another risk of immediate danger, it may constitute an emergency situation that can lead to protective orders and a change in parental rights

Remember that child abuse does not have to involve physically hitting the child. Neglect, where a child’s basic needs are not met, is also a form of child abuse. Verbal harassment and harmful words can be considered abuse as well.

Risk of Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse is an unthinkable situation. Nobody wants to dream that a child’s parent would engage in this behavior towards a child, but unfortunately, it happens. Sexual abuse is unwanted sexual activity, from inappropriate touching to forcing oneself upon another, and even indecent speech of a sexual nature.

Regardless of the level of abuse, it is devastating to any child and constitutes a situation wherein the child is seen to be in immediate danger. Under family law, an emergency motion can be filed to change parental rights. 

What Is the Process for Obtaining a Temporary Child Custody Order?

As stated above, an emergency motion is one way to get a temporary child custody order. A judge can grant such an emergency motion without hearing from the opposing party. Law enforcement can be called in to recover the child if necessary. This can be an essential step in keeping your child safe.

To file for custody, you must issue an affidavit that explains all the facts of the situation. An affidavit is a legal term referring to sworn statements supporting an argument filed with the courts. After the temporary order is granted, a hearing involving both parties will be held within 10 days. At this hearing, the judge will listen to arguments from all sides and review any evidence that can support the claim, such as medical records.

If you are seeking a temporary custody order, Melone Hatley, P.C. may be able to help. Contact our law offices at 800-479-8124 or use our convenient online contact form to schedule an appointment and we can review your case with you..

How Long Does Temporary Custody Last in North Carolina?

Any temporary custody order issued will remain in effect until there is a hearing with both parties present. This hearing, again, will be held within 10 days of the emergency order being granted. After the full hearing, the judge will decide if the custody of the child should be changed in order to further protect the child. When the final order is handed down at the end of the hearing, it could maintain the original arrangements or re-evaluate everything from the parenting plan and parenting time to paying child support.

What Happens If You Receive Notice of an Emergency Custody Order?

You must comply with the order if you receive notice of an emergency custody order in North Carolina. Failure to do so can carry steep consequences, including criminal charges ranging from a class 1 misdemeanor to felony charges with prison time, depending on the severity of the violation and how often you have violated custody arrangements in the past. Such charges can, in some cases, negate your parental rights entirely.

Do not refuse to follow an emergency custody order. You will have a chance to fight back and present your side of the case. You should, however, immediately contact the North Carolina family law attorneys at Melone Hatley, P.C. You have minimal time to prepare your case and will need someone who will fight with you!

Act Now If You Believe Your Child Is In Immediate Danger

If your child is in danger, you must act immediately. The most important thing is to get your child away from the dangerous situation. Call child protective services and the authorities, and do whatever you need to get your child safe. This could lead to an emergency custody change, but to make permanent changes in custody arrangements, you will need the help of an attorney.

While obtaining an emergency order only requires an affidavit, making it permanent carries a substantial burden of proof. Melone Hatley can help you. We have helped thousands of parents over the years fight to protect the safety of their children. We are here to help you in your fight to  keep your child safe and give you the peace of mind you need as a parent. Contact us at 800-479-8124 or fill out our contact form online for your case review today.

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our Client Services Coordinators.

If you are facing a contested custody or visitation case, contact our office today to schedule a call with one of our Client Services Coordinators.

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