But It’s An Emergency …

When people contact a Florida family law attorney, they very often have a serious personal situation.

There may be domestic violence.

They may have been abandoned without a cent to their name.

Their home may be on the verge of foreclosure.

They may be unable to get access to their children.

And on and on.

Frequently, these people will characterize their situation as an emergency, and request that the court deal with their serious situation on an emergency basis.

Lawyers call that “emergency relief”, which is typically dispensed at an “emergency hearing”.

So, what is an emergency in the eyes of the Florida divorce court?

The truth of the matter is that the Florida family court’s perception of an emergency is quite different from that of the man or woman, mother or father, on the street.

In Palm Beach County, severe financial distress is not an emergency.

Withholding of access to children, even on an extended basis, does not create an emergency.

In fact, the vast majority of serious situations are not deemed an emergency by the Florida divorce court.

In Florida’s family court system, classification as an emergency is generally reserved for matters of life and death. Of a child.

Another type of emergency is imminent unlawful removal of a child from the Florida divorce court’s jurisdiction.

Not too much else. Although whether a situation is an emergency is evaluated on a case by case basis.

Mischaracterizing situations as emergencies to the Florida family court won’t get you far … and may even hurt your position in your case. It wastes the Florida divorce court’s most precious resource: time.

When in doubt, it is prudent to consult an experienced Florida family law attorney about whether your self-styled emergency is likely to be deemed an emergency by the Florida divorce court system.

Read more in the local rules of your county’s Florida family court.