In our experience as divorce and family law attorneys, most emergencies truly involving concern for you or your family’s physical well-being will require police intervention and not your attorney. If there is a genuine emergency, such as an incident of domestic violence in progress, or a dispute between parents during a parenting time exchange affecting the wellbeing of your child or children, the best procedure will be to call the police directly and notify your attorney after.
The reality is that attorneys’ emails and phone lines are not monitored 24/7 like the police department. So, we may not be of immediate assistance to you like the police department. Additionally, the police can be far more responsive and provide you with more immediate answers and services than we could. The court system operates on an 8:30 to 4:30 schedule (for the most part) and is far more reactionary than proactive. This means that we will be able to file something after the emergency has been immediately resolved to protect you and your family in the future. This might include a motion to modify parenting time based on a parent’s substance abuse issue putting your children in risk of immediate harm. Or, after an incident of domestic violence, we will be able to assist you with applying for, obtaining, and ultimately prosecuting a restraining order.
On the flip side, we want to emphasize that we also cannot control the actions of the other party involved in your matter, their attorney, or the Court. This means we cannot prevent another party from calling the police department in the event of a dispute between you (even if you do not believe it is an emergency) and we cannot stop them from filing applications with the court preventing you from engaging in certain conduct. We ask all our clients to keep us updated as events occur that may or may not affect their case. If we do not know about an event or occurrence between you and your spouse or you and your co-parent, we will be unable to address it before the court.
The best word of advice for our clients is to plan so you don’t find yourself in emergent situations. To do so, it is important to act before issues arise, and not wait until the last minute. The attorneys of Arndt, Sutak & Miceli, LLC regularly address emergency family matters and can consult with you about filing a Domestic Violence Restraining Order, Order to Show Cause, or a Motion. Contact us today at 732-867-8894 or firstname.lastname@example.org to protect your rights.