Custody Papers

By Staff Writer

The court decree of child custody is just the first step of a long relationship with your ex-spouse. Now you and your former mate will have to live with a court-approved plan of child custody and visitation. What do you do if it isn't working out as planned?

Temporary Custody Papers
Temporary custody papers can change your custody situation if there is good cause. For example, if the custodial spouse is "dumping" the kids on the non-custodial parent too often, or for long periods of time, the arrangement can be changed. If the custodial parent has a drug or alcohol problem, or is having trouble keeping a job, the court may rethink the custody.

If both parents are in agreement that the custody should be changed, then they can simply apply to the court for temporary custody papers and both sign them. If there is no agreement, then the parents must consult with their attorneys to bring the custody matter before the family court judge. But what if a parent is abusive or dangerous?

There are emergency temporary orders to transfer the children to a safe environment. Sometimes if both parents seem unstable, the court will turn to the grandparents to take temporary custody of the children. This can turn into permanent custody if the parents are unable to prove adequate responsibility. The court will appoint a guardian ad litem (a professional with a degree in social work or psychology) to help assess which home is the best for the children.