Temporary Custody Law and Legal Definition

Temporary custody is the right of a parent to have parenting time with his or her child overnight or for an extended time. In cases where the issue of custody is contested, there is often an initial hearing where the court decides issues of custody, visitation, child support, spousal maintenance, occupancy of the homestead, etc. on a temporary basis, enforceable until the final Judgment & Decree or Divorce is entered.

The following may petition for temporary custody:

  • an eligible petitioner who has filed for either removal of guardian or termination of parental rights

  • the court on its own motion
  • the attorney appointed for the child.

In some states, to grant temporary custody, the court must find by a fair preponderance of the evidence that because the parent or guardian has performed acts of omission or commission, the child is suffering from serious physical illness or injury or is in immediate physical danger.