Courts schedule hearings based on their own schedule, rather than asking you when it is convenient for you. Therefore, there is a chance that a court hearing is scheduled at a time that does not work with your schedule. In many cases, you must rearrange your schedule so you can make it to court on the scheduled date. However you may be able to postpone your hearing instead, especially if both parties are agreeable to the change. The specific process varies by state.
File a written petition with the court to postpone your divorce court day. Each local courthouse has its own version of the paperwork required. This paperwork addresses why you need the extra time, how long you need and whether you both agree to postpone. Visit your local courthouse website, the courthouse or your lawyer's office to find out what paperwork needs to be completed and filed. If your lawyer can submit the paperwork, it is more likely to be taken seriously. This paperwork must typically be filed at least two weeks before the hearing is scheduled.
Attend any hearing that is set up in regard to postponing the divorce court date. In some cases, especially when both parties do not agree to the postponement, a court hearing is scheduled to allow the judge to hear both sides and make a decision. However, if both parties agree to the change, the hearing may be postponed.
Call your local clerk of courts to ask to change the court date, especially if the court date is still far in the future. They may be able to make a change without the paperwork if you have given them enough notice, such as contacting them as soon as you receive the paperwork about a court date several months in the future.
Ask the judge for a continuance if you get to the court date and need more time to organize your case. This method is looked on the least favorably by a judge because it is a waste of his time. The more notice you can provide, the better your chances of your court date being postponed.
- Always get any court date change in writing. If you do not have it in writing, it may not be filed with the courts. If you fail to appear at your original date and it was not changed, you are likely to lose your case.
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