October 6, 2023 In Consultancy, Family Rights

Unraveling California’s Family Law: Ex Parte Motion in Child Custody and Visitation Cases

What is an Ex Parte Motion?

An Ex Parte Motion is an urgent request made to the court, typically without the other party’s presence or prior notice. In child custody and visitation cases, it’s often used when there’s a belief that a child is in immediate danger or at risk of harm.

Factors/Elements for an Ex Parte Motion

1. Immediate Harm or Risk: There must be a genuine belief that waiting for a regularly scheduled court hearing could result in irreversible harm to the child.
2. No Notice: An explanation as to why the other party wasn’t notified must be provided. This could be due to concerns about further risk or harm.
3. Recent Events: A recent incident that supports the urgency of the motion, such as evidence of abuse or neglect.

Possible Outcomes of an Ex Parte Motion

1. Granted: The judge may issue a temporary order, providing immediate relief. This could mean changes in custody or visitation rights.
2. Denied: The judge may find there’s no immediate danger, and a regular court hearing may be scheduled to address the concerns.
3. Further Examination: The judge might order an investigation or appoint a child custody evaluator to gather more information.

Qualifications for Ex Parte with Examples

1. Evidence of Physical Abuse: Recent bruises or injuries on a child after a visit with the other parent.
2. Threats of Abduction: One parent threatens to leave the state or country with the child without consent.
3. Evidence of Substance Abuse: Child reports being in a car while the other parent was under the influence.
Do Not Qualify
1. General Disagreements: Clashes over bedtime routines or dietary choices.
2. Missed Visitation: A one-time missed visitation without any harm to the child.
3. Hearsay without Evidence: Claims without direct evidence or verification, like “I heard from someone that…”.

Key Insights

  • Ex Parte motions are *serious* and should only be used in genuine emergencies.
  • Using Ex Parte without a valid reason can backfire, possibly affecting your credibility in court.
  • Always consult with legal counsel before proceeding to ensure you’re taking the right steps.
At The Mines Law Firm, we’re dedicated to your understanding and well-being. For further information or if you require representation, do not hesitate to reach out.
*Jasmine Mines, Esq.*
The Mines Law Firm