• california ex parte child custody order

How to Get a California Ex Parte Child Custody Order

California courts allow a person to file for emergency orders in family matters. People living in California file ex parte motions fairly often. Keep in mind, the purpose of asking for a California ex parte child custody order is so a judge can make a decision on a legal issue on short notice rather than on the court’s regular calendar. (See California Rules of Court 5.151). In other words, the sole purpose of filing an ex parte Request for Order (RFO) is to get in front of a judge fast (often only a day or 2). On the other hand, courts usually set regular hearings within 45 or 60 days of filing. As you can see, the ex parte process has a much shorter timeline.

Emergency custody orders are usually only granted when there has been domestic violence, child endangerment or child abduction. An expedited child support order cannot be obtained using the ex parte process. Read on to learn about common examples of valid emergencies for filing a request and getting a California ex parte child custody order.

“I faced an emergency situation and did not know what to do. With the help of A People’s Choice, I was able to get my case in front of a judge within just a few days.”Michael B.
“The staff at A People’s Choice went over and above helping explaining the facts and presenting my situation way better for the judge to read than I could have ever put together.I felt completely ready for my hearing.“Michael B.

Get Help with a California Ex Parte Child Custody Order!

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Reasons to File Request for California Ex Parte Child Custody Order

To explain in greater detail, here are some reasons you may want to ask for a California ex parte child custody order:

  • A child needs medical attention that requires both parents’ consent, but one parent refuses. A parent can ask the court to grant a California ex parte child custody order so that only one parent is needed to provide consent for the needed treatment.
  • A parent has taken the child, hid the child or threatened to leave the state with the child. Often, in this case, there is valid reason to believe the other partent will carry out their threat. In this situation, a parent can ask for a California ex parte child custody order on shortened notice that demands the child be returned. Often these emergency orders will include an order which prevents the threatening parent from removing the child from the city or State.
  • A parent is acting in a way that could harm a child. For example, if a parent has recently been charged with driving drunk with the child in the car or charged for child abuse or molestation. A parent could ask the court for a California ex parte child custody order that prevents visitation pending mediation and a full hearing.

Information Required in California Ex Parte Request (RFO)

Keep in mind, Family Code Section 3064, describes what information is needed to apply for California ex parte orders for child custody or visitation. The following facts and information should be included in an ex parte request (Request for Order).

(A) Provide a detailed description explaining why and how the child could be harmed as 1) described in Family Code Section 3064(b) or 2) there is an immediate risk that the parent will take the child outside California.

(B) Identify the date of each incident..

(C) Describe the existing custody and visitation (parenting time) arrangements and/or orders and explain how they would be changed by the emergency orders being requested.

(D) Describe in detail the current living arrangements of the child.

E) Include a completed, up-to-date, Declaration under Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) FL-105 if one has not been filed before or if the information has changed.

In conclusion, unless a parent can substantiate their child will suffer immediate harm or immediate risk, or can prove that the other parent plans to remove the child from California, their ex parte request will most likely be denied by a judge. Keep in mind that an ex parte order is temporary. The temporary order will stay in place until the Request for Order hearing is held. Court hearings are generally set within 20 days.  At the last hearing, the judge will decide whether the order shall remain permanently in effect.

Forms Required for California Ex Parte Child Custody Order

The court requires various forms to file a California ex parte child custody order. As mentioned above, ex parte orders are only available under emergency circumstances. You will need to convince the judge that great injury will be caused if the court does not make an immediate order. The following forms are required to get a California ex parte child custody order:

Request for Order – FL 300
Temporary Orders – FL 305
Declaration Under Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) – FL 105
Declaration Regarding Notice and Service of Request for Temporary Emergency Orders – FL 303
Application for Order and Supporting Declaration – FL 310
Child Custody and Visitation Application Attachment – FL 311
Proof of Service – FL 330

All of these forms can be found on the court’s website. In addition, complete FL 150 Income and Expense Declaration if you are asking for a child support order. Keep in mind that the court will not decide on child support until the last hearing.  You may need to complete other forms depending which county you plan to file your ex parte RFO.

Getting Your Ex Parte Matter in Front of a Judge

First, file the original documents with the court clerk. They will give you a date and time for the hearing. Next, you will need to serve the filed copies on the opposing party or their attorney. Keep in mind, you must call the opposing party by 10:00 a.m. the court day before the ex parte date to provide notice of the hearing. You will need to tell them what orders you are asking the judge to grant. In addition, you will also need to tell them where and when the hearing will take place. If the child is in danger, there may be a way to avoid having to give the other parent advance notice of the ex parte proceeding. Lastly, you will need to serve the other party with the Ex Parte RFO documents. Although it varies by court, this typically must be done by 2:00 p.m. the court day before the ex parte hearing date. Contact A People’s Choice for more information about how we can help you get a California ex parte child custody order, and learn about other legal document preparation services we provide. We can help you prepare and file the documents you need for an ex parte child custody order request and save you thousands of dollars as compared to using an attorney.

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By |2018-01-18T15:46:00-07:00December 4th, 2017|Domestic Violence, Family Law|14 Comments

About the Author:

Sandra M. McCarthy, founder of A People’s Choice Inc., has worked exclusively in the legal field since 1976. She served as the 2004-2005 President of CALDA (California Association of Legal Document Assistants). She obtained a Paralegal Certificate from the University of California, Santa Barbara. During her career in the legal field, she has worked as a freelance paralegal, law office manager and paralegal studies teacher, and has co-authored numerous legal publications and written hundreds of self-help legal articles. As a registered Legal Document Assistant, Sandy is dedicated to providing affordable, low-cost, self-help document preparation services for California consumers in all 58 counties.


  1. ellysia anderson May 11, 2019 at 4:52 pm - Reply

    me and the father of the baby are no longer getting along so we decided that we would share the daughter but now every time he takes her he threat texts me saying he will take her n never bring her back what do i do

    • Sandy McCarthy May 19, 2019 at 3:49 pm - Reply

      You probably should file a paternity case and a motion to get an official and legal court order regarding specified custody and visitation. Give us a call for help with that paperwork. 800-747-2780.

  2. Betzy January 28, 2019 at 9:50 am - Reply

    Can i file an exparte if my ex refuses to meet to exchange controled refrigerated medication of our child and several times has been iresponsible in handling medication im worried for our daughters health also he is in contempt and refuses to pay child support but im more concerened about the medication and our daughters health

    • Sandy McCarthy January 28, 2019 at 9:10 pm - Reply

      If you feel your child’s health, safety and welfare is in jeopardy due to your ex spouse’s actions, we can help you prepare a motion to bring this matter before the court. please reach out to us at 800-747-2780.

  3. angie negro January 3, 2019 at 1:23 pm - Reply

    My ex filed for an ex parte hearing I believe in an effort to change the mediation and court hearing dates (they want to prolong the process). I was informed via phone by a rep from their lawyer’s office by the 10am cut off and they stated they would send me an email document that I have not yet received. If i don’t appear for the ex parte hearing can the judge move forward and make a judgement? How will they know if I have been served with the motion and details in a document of the hearing if I don’t open the email and provide a read receipt?

    • Sandy McCarthy January 5, 2019 at 9:29 pm - Reply

      A proof of valid service is required. Valid service could be by phone.

  4. Just me November 20, 2018 at 4:42 pm - Reply

    My husband just got of prison spousal abuse on me. An I left him ..so he filed an emergency custody because he is saying that I am not stable enough to take care of ma kids an that he wants 72 hour hold on me…but all this is a lie will they grant him that when he has a few charges for abuse an breaki g our thing I have police reports

    • Sandy McCarthy November 25, 2018 at 8:12 am - Reply

      You should take immediate action and file all necessary paperwork to protect your rights. Give us a call st 800-747-2780 for help.

  5. Anthony November 13, 2018 at 2:02 pm - Reply

    Can I file an ex parte motion in an established guardianship because the guardians have absconded with my son without the court’s approval? This would be in California

    • Sandy McCarthy November 13, 2018 at 8:22 pm - Reply

      I would talk to an attorney to discuss your options.

  6. Rosie August 24, 2018 at 5:09 pm - Reply

    Can I file an Ex Parte if parents aren’t agreeing on a school and school has started or is going to very soon? Can that motion include all custody arrangements if they aren’t already in place?

    • Sandy McCarthy August 24, 2018 at 6:07 pm - Reply

      Hi Rosie – you can include a variety of things in an ex parte motion depending upon the previous order. Give us a call and we would be happy to help you with all of the paperwork and to present your requests in the most favorable manner.

  7. Mary May 14, 2018 at 4:06 pm - Reply

    Can i get Exparte for my child if I got restraining order for domestic violence for protection for myself to file for emergency custody

    • Sandy McCarthy May 14, 2018 at 8:47 pm - Reply

      Mary – I am unclear of your question. You may want to call the office at 800-747-2780.

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