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Brandon M.
Brandon M., Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 12620
Experience:  Attorney experienced in all aspects of family law
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In the state of California, when papers are served for custody,

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In the state of California, when papers are served for custody, can they take the baby away?
Hello there:

Thank you for entrusting me with your question. I am an attorney licensed and practicing family law in California, and I have handled hundreds of custody cases. The only circumstances where a child can be taken out of the custody of a parent is through an order of the court. There are two types of custody orders: (1) emergency, and (2) regular.

An emergency custody order will only be awarded if there is an imminent danger of significant and irreparable harm to the child; before an emergency custody order is granted, the parent will be given 24 hours notice to appear in court and explain why the emergency order should not be made. If the emergency order is granted, the court will temporarily take the child away from the parent. The parents will then meet with a mediator and, a there will be a regular court hearing a few weeks later--both sides will be given the opportunity to explain what is in the best interest of the child.

With a regular order, the parties will meet with a mediator and later meet at a court date--both sides will be given the opportunity to explain what is in the best interest of the child. The only difference between an emergency custody order and a regular custody order is the emergency custody order is granted on very short notice, it is granted temporarily, and it is only granted when there is a risk of significant, immediate, irreparable harm.

Nothing happens unless both sides have been given notice of a court hearing and have been given the opportunity to be heard.

I understand that you may have follow-up questions. Let me know if further clarification is needed. Thank you.
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