When New Jersey parents decide to divorce, they may determine a temporary custody agreement while a permanent child custody order is being decided. These types of temporary orders can be determined by a court in the best interests of the child. While this is the most common use of temporary custody orders, there are other reasons why a child may be placed temporarily in the custody of a party other than the parents. For example, parents who are unable to afford care for their child may want to provide temporary legal custody to a grandparent, aunt, uncle or other relative, along with the legal authority to make decisions for the child.
Other parents may also ask relatives to care for their children when they are unable to for other reasons. For example, parents may become very ill, require surgery or be hospitalized. While they are receiving care, their child will still need someone to make decisions, and temporary custody can be one way of dealing with this issue. The same may be true for parents, especially single parents, who have some kinds of demanding work schedules or responsibilities and willing relatives happy to step in to provide care for the child.
Temporary custody can also be invoked in less favorable circumstances. For example, if a child is threatened with harm due to domestic violence or other forms of abuse, a court may issue a temporary custody order removing him or her from the abusive home. Temporary custody orders or agreements will generally include the time period, the child’s place of residence and visitation rights for the parent.
For families going through challenging times, temporary custody can be an important option. A family law attorney may help a parent to develop a temporary child custody agreement that protects their children and maintains the parent-child relationship.