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Temporary and Emergency Custody Orders in Georgia

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Children should never suffer when parents divorce. A temporary custody order can provide relief and some stability while your case is ongoing. The Gentry Law Firm has decades of experience handling child custody, complex divorces, and family law issues in Marietta and throughout Cobb County.

We use our knowledge and compassionate approach to protect and advocate for your children. Reach out to our temporary custody lawyers to learn about your legal rights.

Temporary & Emergency Custody Orders in Georgia

Custody orders give one or both parents the right to care for minor children during a separation or divorce. Temporary custody orders allow one parent to have primary physical custody during the divorce.

Emergency custody orders are more typical in domestic violence, child abuse, or abandonment cases.

Temporary Custody Orders in Georgia

In Georgia temporary custody orders outline:

  • The parenting plan (who has primary physical custody)
  • Parenting time (visitation)
  • Child support payments
  • Temporary possession of the family home, car, or both.

Emergency Custody Orders in Georgia

In Georgia, a court issues emergency custody orders due to:

  • Child abuse, neglect, or abandonment
  • The threat of parental kidnapping
  • Domestic violence
  • Emergency circumstances for the parent with physical custody

More on Temporary & Emergency Custody Orders

Temporary custody orders often set the stage for final custody arrangements. They provide stability and comfort for minor children if removed from their home or separated from their primary caregiver. These orders also may include provisions for spousal support. A judge may order one or both spouses to refrain from selling valuable assets in a temporary custody order.

Emergency orders are also called ex parte orders. In cases that involve child abuse or domestic violence, it might be dangerous for the other spouse to be in the courtroom, so the party from whom custody is being removed does not have to be present.

Custody Motions for Changed Circumstances

Although most commonly sought before and during the divorce process, motions for temporary and emergency custody are also utilized for seeking a change in final custody.

In the state of Georgia, custody decisions must be made in the best interests of the child. The parent seeking the emergency order should have sufficient evidence that changed circumstances necessitate new custody arrangements.

Reasons for Temporary Custody Can Include:

  • Remarriage
  • Improved or worsened mental or physical health
  • Drug abuse or addiction
  • Job loss
  • Child’s preference if they are of age to make their preference known
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Motions for Temporary Custody

Our child custody lawyers help you protect your child from a dangerous parent or financial instability caused by separation or divorce. We handle all the details for seeking temporary or emergency custody and answer your questions about related issues.

How to File for Temporary or Emergency Custody in Georgia

In Georgia, you must file for temporary and emergency custody in the county in which you reside. Each county has its own procedures. In Cobb County, a parent can set a temporary hearing when filing for divorce. Either parent may file for emergency custody before divorce or separation if they believe that the other parent is abusive or neglectful.

Temporary Guardianship in Georgia

Sometimes it’s necessary to seek temporary guardianship for minor children when neither parent can provide care. Similarly, a concerned third party can seek temporary custody in their county’s Superior Court if they believe the child is at risk.

Temporary guardians have the legal authority to decide a child’s medical care, access to funds, and other choices. Guardians relinquish this authority when one parent successfully petitions the court for custody.

Child Support in Temporary Custody Situations

We can seek child support when we file a temporary custody order on your behalf. Your spouse might not live with you and your children anymore, but their financial obligations do not end.

Our motions for temporary custody can include sufficient child support for food, housing, clothing, educational expenses, medical needs, and more.


Depending on the length of the marriage, a higher-earning spouse may be required to pay alimony as part of the temporary custody order until the other spouse can re-enter the workforce. For long-term marriages (20+ years), spousal support may last until the receiving spouse remarries or upon the death of either party.

Learn More About Alimony & Support

Best Interests of the Child

Georgia makes custodial decisions using the Best Interests of the Child doctrine. These considerations include:

  • The parent’s wishes
  • Whether or not each parent is willing to support the child’s relationship with the other parent
  • Which parent the child wants to live with (depending on the child’s age)
  • The quality of the child’s interactions with their parents, brothers and sisters, grandparents, and other key people in their lives
  • The child’s ties to their home, school, and community
  • The physical and mental health of both parents
  • Whether one parent has a history of domestic violence and abuse

Child Preference in Custody Cases

At a certain age, minor children have a voice in choosing where they want to live most of the time.

  • Children over 11 but younger than 14: Judge may grant temporary custody for up to six months, with a follow-up to determine if it should become permanent.
  • Children age 14 and older: Children may choose which parent to live with unless the Court finds it not in their best interests.

Our Temporary Custody Lawyers in Marietta, GA Can Help

If you’re concerned about your child’s health, well-being, and financial security, your temporary custody attorney should know how to alleviate your fears. We understand that divorce brings fear of losing the quality of life you and your children are accustomed to, especially if you are the lower-earning spouse or stay-at-home parent.

You don’t have to remain in a broken, loveless, or dangerous marriage. At the Gentry Law Firm, our family law attorneys in Marietta, GA aggressively pursue your preferred custody arrangements, from temporary to final orders. We don’t back down when it comes to helping you get the assets and support you deserve.

Our child custody attorneys assists with every aspect of custody:

  • Filing motions for temporary & emergency custody
  • Seeking & enforcing child support payments
  • Fairly dividing marital assets & debts
  • Assisting in temporary guardianship
  • Promoting the safety, security, and stability of your children
  • Seeking appropriate spousal support
  • Protecting your quality of life.