Emergency Child Custody Orders in Texas: When and How to File

Child custody matters can sometimes become urgent, requiring immediate action to ensure the safety and well-being of the child. In Texas, emergency child custody orders provide a legal mechanism for addressing pressing custody issues when circumstances demand swift intervention. In this informative guide, we’ll explore the ins and outs of emergency child custody orders in Texas, including when they may be necessary and how to navigate the process of filing for one.

When Are Emergency Child Custody Orders Necessary?

Emergency child custody orders may be necessary in situations involving imminent danger to the child’s health, safety, or welfare. This could include cases of abuse, neglect, substance abuse by a parent, domestic violence, or other urgent circumstances requiring immediate action to protect the child.

Grounds for Seeking an Emergency Child Custody Order

To obtain an emergency child custody order in Texas, the requesting party must demonstrate to the court that there is an immediate risk of harm to the child if the order is not granted. This often requires providing evidence such as police reports, medical records, witness statements, or other documentation supporting the need for emergency intervention.

Filing for an Emergency Child Custody Order

The process of filing for an emergency child custody order typically begins by submitting a petition or motion to the family court with jurisdiction over the case. The petition should clearly outline the reasons why emergency intervention is necessary and provide supporting evidence to substantiate the request.


In some cases, emergency child custody orders may be granted ex parte, meaning that only one party (the requesting party) appears before the court. However, the other party will have an opportunity to respond to the allegations and present their case at a later hearing.

Temporary Nature of Emergency Orders

It’s important to note that emergency child custody orders in Texas are typically temporary in nature and are intended to address immediate concerns until a more comprehensive custody arrangement can be established through regular court proceedings. The court may schedule a hearing within a short timeframe to determine whether the emergency order should be extended or modified.

Consulting with an Attorney

Due to the complexity and urgency of emergency child custody matters, it’s highly advisable for individuals seeking an emergency order to consult with a qualified family law attorney. An attorney can provide guidance on the legal process, help gather evidence to support the request, and advocate for the best interests of the child in court.


Emergency child custody orders in Texas play a critical role in ensuring the safety and well-being of children in urgent situations. By understanding when and how to file for an emergency order, parents can take prompt action to protect their children from harm and secure necessary legal remedies. Consulting with an experienced family law attorney can provide invaluable support and guidance throughout the process.