Most of the time, the authorities prefer to stay out of custody issues once a parenting plan and visitation schedule is set. The courts won’t usually hear requests for modifications of an order unless there’s a significant change in the circumstances for those involved.
Emergencies do happen, however — and the courts realize that it’s impossible sometimes to wait to act until you can sit down and try to negotiate the issue with your child’s other parent. If your child is in danger, you may need to act quickly.
For example, maybe you get a hysterical phone call from your teenager who says that your ex-spouse is drinking heavily or has invited virtual strangers into the home for parties. Or, maybe you’re concerned that your former spouse’s mental or physical health puts your child in real danger. In those situations, it’s possible to see an emergency modification of custody. That can get your child back to safety — at least until the court has time to hold a full hearing on the issue.
What happens if your ex-spouse simply refuses to return your child to your care at the appointed time? That sometimes happens, for example, when parents are operating under a temporary parenting plan and one side doesn’t take the orders seriously. You may even be concerned that your ex-spouse will try to abscond to another country with your child.
In those situations, the Florida courts may issue a child pick-up order. This directs the police to intercede, pick the child up from their other parent and return them to the appropriate party’s care.
If you believe that you have a true child custody emergency, get experienced assistance right away.