Skip to content

We are open and fully operational during COVID-19. Our entire office is taking all safety precautions to ensure the safety of our clients.
Please contact us for a consultation.

How Do I File for Emergency Custody in South Carolina?

Family paper dolls with a judge's gavelA child’s home should be a safe place, a stable and permanent space for their healthy upbringing. Parents and guardians have a responsibility to provide this for their children’s welfare. However, when their home environment puts a child in immediate danger, South Carolina emergency custody attorneys can step in and help get them to safety.

As the concerned other parent or party, if you believe your child’s welfare is at imminent risk, you can request an emergency, or expedited, custody hearing.

What is an emergency custody hearing?

An emergency custody hearing allows the court to hear expedited requests for orders to remove a child from their home in order to protect their safety. South Carolina courts can grant these hearings quickly in order to get a child out of a dangerous situation as soon as possible.

When should I apply for an emergency custody action?

You may want to take an emergency custody action when a child is exposed to certain behaviors in the home, including:

  • Child neglect
  • Domestic abuse, including child abuse
  • Drug or alcohol abuse
  • Inappropriate visitors to the home, including sex offenders
  • Parental criminal activity or conviction
  • Parental incapacity
  • Parental mental illness

Child custody actions are outlined in South Carolina Children’s Code Chapter 15, and motions for temporary hearings, including emergency temporary hearings, are outlined under Rule 21 of the South Caroline Family Court Rules.

What is needed to file for emergency custody?

To file for emergency custody, you and your attorney first file a motion for what’s called “emergency temporary relief,” along with supporting paperwork. A South Carolina Family Court Judge reviews these documents and decides whether the situation warrants an emergency custody hearing.

How long does the emergency custody hearing process take in South Carolina?

If the judge decides the situation warrants an emergency hearing, they hold the hearing as soon as possible, waiving the typical five-day requirement for a Family Court temporary hearing.

Your attorney will also provide the court with a proposed parenting plan, and the court may require a future hearing to address the custody issue in more detail. If you believe a child you love is in immediate danger, you must act now.


Holland Law provides experienced and compassionate representation for families in York, Lancaster, and Chester Counties. If you need assistance with a child custody action, get in touch with us for legal guidance. Call today to schedule a consultation in our Fort Mill office on Gold Hill Road, or in our Rock Hill office on Oakland Avenue at 803-219-2630, or reach out through our contact page.