Although not allowing the other parent visitation with a minor child may ultimately backfire on the parent withholding vitiation the damage is already done to the child after going several months without seeing one parent. This is why Mecklenburg County and some other counties in North Carolina (not Union) allow a parent to file a Motion for a Temporary Parenting Arrangement. In Union County you could ask for a Status Quo Order via an Ex-parte Order for custody. Continue reading for some frequently asked questions and answers on how to get a relatively fast Court Order to ensure your child or children are not alienated from either parent.
What are the grounds for a Temporary Parenting Arrangement in NC?
The typical scenario is where one parent abruptly moves out and refuses to allow the child any contact with the other parent. Another example is where the parents had some informal joint custody arrangement and then one parent decides to unfairly restrict time with the minor child. Other grounds may include, but are not limited to, mental health issues, substance abuse issues, a move by one parent, or changing of school or daycare of the children.
Can I file for a Temporary Parenting Arrangement in Union County?
As of the date of this blog article the answer is No. Union County ordinarily has both a Temporary Custody hearing and Permanent Custody hearing. The thought process is the Temporary Custody hearing is meant to get you in front of a Judge in a relatively short period of time. In practice child custody mediation is usually mandatory before any hearing, meaning any Temporary hearing usually takes months to be placed on a Court calendar. That being said, Union County and NC in general still do allow for immediate relief if the situation is dire enough to give rise for Emergency Custody.
What is the difference between a TPA and Emergency Custody?
A Temporary Parenting Arrangement was created to address situations that don’t rise to the VERY limited grounds for Emergency Custody. Emergency Custody in North Carolina generally requires one of three scenarios:
When should I file for a TPA?
If you feel you qualify for a Temporary Parenting Arrangement then you should file right away. Waiting only makes it seem as though you don’t consider the situation a priority. Even if you apply today any hearing is usually 2-4 weeks out.
Do I need an attorney?
No attorney is required, but you should at least consult with a local attorney for insight into local custom and practice. Hiring an attorney to attend any future hearing would also be wise as the other side may show up with an attorney leaving you at a distinct disadvantage as to knowing and applying the rules of evidence in a Courtroom.
What happens after I file?
Upon filing and service upon the opposing party, they have seven (7) days to file a written response. After that time period has lapsed the file is generally reviewed by a Judge to determine if the Motion warrants a hearing. Although, the Mecklenburg County local rules allow a Judge to sign an Order without setting an initial hearing that rarely if ever happens in Charlotte.
How do I file for a Temporary Parenting Arrangement?
A Motion for a Temporary Parenting Arrangement must be filed inside a Custody action. If there is no Custody file then you will have to initiate one and file your motion under that file number.
What happens at the hearing?
A hearing on whether to grant a Temporary Parenting Arrangement is usually a quick hearing (1 hour or less) that is quite similar to a Temporary Custody hearing. That being said, your focus should be on the how the status quo has been unilaterally changed by the other parent and why a Parenting Arrangement is necessary, and in the best interest of the child.
7/14/2016 09:55:00 pm
So my question is can a TPA be heard in Mecklenburg Co if a change of venue is granted prior to it being heard?
7/14/2016 10:46:12 pm
Was the change of venue to another county in NC or another State? Changing venue to another county in NC should result in the file being physically transferred to the new county. At that point I don't see how a Judge could proceed without a file. That being said, some local Judges do what they want to do and your only remedy is to appeal to Raleigh. I would call the Mecklenburg county family court office at (704) 686-0200 and ask if the TPA hearing date is going to be cancelled due to the change of venue being granted.
Stacey R Mills
1/21/2017 08:33:31 am
What if you already went to a emergency custody hearing and the other party was granted tempary custody until another court date. How do you file a motion on the case because there is a CPS case involved but it in another county. The kids have lived in another county but the other parent had them for a visit but refused to bring them back. How do you file a motion on the case to bring it to the county that has the CPS case in.
1/21/2017 10:36:09 am
Sounds like you are describing a Motion to Change Venue. You need to speak with an attorney in the county with the Emergency Order about your chances of having the case moved.
4/12/2018 12:28:29 pm
I live in Cabarrus County. I had DSS come to my house yesterday regarding comments my sons' made to their guidance counselor. My ex-wife an I have to legal custody arrangement. We have been divorced close to 7 years and have always shared custody without any issues. The social worker told me that I need to file a motion for emergency custody with the magistrate. She said she has no grounds to do so. From everything I've seen online there has to be a concern for their immediate danger in the eyes of the magistrate for them to issue the order... What should I do??
4/12/2018 05:25:10 pm
Are these comments related to physical or sexual abuse? Sounds like you need to speak with an attorney in Cabarrus county.
6/25/2018 08:00:33 pm
So the father of my child showed up drunk to pick our daughter up. We live in SC.. . I wouldn't allow him to take her so on Wednesday the following week II got served papers where he filed for custody. . This was in November 2017 so we have been waiting to see a judge because I filed to have the case dismissed for being filed in wrong jurisdiction so he calls me yesterday and states he has filed for TPA how can he do that my child is not in danger and he has seen her almost every week since then I'm just curious how he can do any of this and it be legal I've taken care of her almost alone for 10 years I just don't understand
6/25/2018 09:40:00 pm
Was an action filed in NC or SC? What county?
7/26/2018 10:47:19 am
It was filed in nc the child has been with me for 9/months now and visits with her father every other weekend and he still filed for a TPA how is that possible. .Also lied on the custody papers said he has had her since 2012
7/26/2018 11:09:03 am
I think you just answered you own question- he lied and claimed the child lives in NC. People lie all the time in court. Consider hiring a local attorney to file a motion to dismiss if NC is not the home state of the child.
Laura in Acuna
2/10/2019 04:21:01 am
After judge gives his ruling in mecklenburg county for a TPA , does the moving party draft the TPA which is later reviewed by non moving party? And if so, is there any NC general guidelines or rules in it that are outside the scope of physical and legal custody? Also, what if both attorneys interpreted the ruling different and parties disagree? Wondering if I need a change in representation.
2/10/2019 10:29:05 am
Who drafts the order is totally up to the Judge. If it is a short order sometimes the judge will hand write the order from the bench. If you don't like or understand what your attorney is telling you my advice is have a consultation with another attorney, but keep your current attorney until you actually retain a new attorney.
4/9/2019 01:17:10 pm
The kids have lived in another county but the other parent had them for a visit but refused to bring them back. what if both attorneys interpreted the ruling different and parties disagree? Wondering if I need a change in representation.
4/9/2019 01:32:17 pm
Not sure what you are asking, but if you don't like the prescription offered by your lawyer seek a second opinion.
8/6/2019 03:40:47 pm
My husband's two young children are with us for the summer. Due to doctor's suggestions and our suspicions, one sees a psychologist and the other has medication for emergencies. Children's current home state is not NC. Can we file for custody in NC or do we have to file in their home state? Neither mother nor father have legal custody nor has it ever been established. Thank you for your time.
8/6/2019 07:22:58 pm
You would likely need to seek legal guidance in their home state to start.
9/22/2019 07:42:24 pm
One quick question, if I may: Let's say your TPA hearing is set for this coming week. Your opposing counsel sends you an email requesting supplemental responses to discovery questions from a few months ago and demands that you respond by the day before your TPA hearing or he and his client will file a Motion to Compel, leaving you with a mere 2 business days to complete said responses. To me, it seems one could claim that to be an unacceptable expectation and won't be taken lightly by the court. Could one simply inform opposing counsel that the request is unreasonable or is there something one could file in response? Or is there simply no viable option besides responding by the date requested?
9/22/2019 09:23:13 pm
For specific legal advice you would need to consult with a local attorney.
1/6/2022 02:49:14 am
My child and I live in Mecklenburg over a year nownbut have recently Just went to court in union cuz he filed after we left and obviously that was where jurisdiction was at that point. I was custody in a temp custody Agreement. He gets visitation. My question is If I can prove she will be in danger at his home with him having a registered sex offender with a lengthy criminal record over drinking with him at his house as well as his gf was just convicted of assault and battery, do I need to file for emergency custody in Mecklenburg or do I still have to do it in union since the temp order is there. This is the only way i can keep her from going over there To visit Since she is at risk Of 2 of the 3 things that qualify for it. She's only 3. I dunno where I need to go for this.
1/6/2022 09:17:59 am
if there is already a court order on custody you generally file for emergency custody under that file number.
7/8/2022 06:18:00 pm
I filed a TPA but my child was taken out of state and the mother of my child doesn't have a job or a permanent address. She is staying with her dad in a studio apartment with a warrant. What are my chances of getting my daughter back to NC, mecklenburg county..
7/8/2022 07:00:02 pm
If she has fled NC with your child you should speak with an attorney about filing for emergency custody.
12/3/2022 09:07:41 am
I currently reside in Mecklenburg County, NC but I am looking to move to a neighboring county. There's already a parenting agreement in place that was signed by a Mecklenburg county judge, so I'm wondering if I move to another county, is there a limit on how long I have to have live in that county before I can file for a motion to modify in the new county? Thank you for any help thay an be provided.
12/8/2022 08:20:59 pm
Does the other party still reside in Mecklenburg County? It will be up to the judge in Mecklenburg County- they could refuse to change venue, especially if the other side objects.
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