Can a temporary child custody order become permanent?

Although a temporary custody order is perceived as a quick-fix before a final custody order, often times, the temporary order becomes a permanent custody order. For example, if the parties cannot agree to a custody arrangement, the court will schedule a trial where the parties will present evidence to persuade the court who would be the better caretaker for the child. In the meantime, during the trial and while the court makes the determination, time invariably passes and the current temporary arrangement provides a more stable environment. As time passes, the child is inclined to become attached to a specific school, activities, and friends. All of this, makes it tougher to persuade the court that disrupting the stability and continuity the child has experienced is in the child’s best interests. Essentially, the parent who is awarded temporary custody has a “home-field” advantage against the opposing parent. For this reason, a proceeding to determine temporary custody should be taken very seriously and a parent should not voluntarily surrender the temporary custodial rights without taking the time to consider all factors involved.

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