How to File a Continuance Hearing in a Family Law Court
By Shannon Johnson
Life can happen at really inconvenient times. If one of those times happens to be when you have a scheduled family law court date, you will need to ask the court for a continuance, or postponement, of the hearing . The process varies by state, so check the specifics with your local court clerk. Two ways to get a continuance are by filing a motion or by agreement between the parties.
Getting a Continuance
Ask your spouse or his attorney to agree to a continuance. If you do reach an agreement, ask for a document (fax, letter or email) showing that the other party agrees to the continuance. You can either take the letter to the judge’s clerk or file for a continuance and attach the document as an exhibit, depending on the rules in your state.
Prepare a motion for continuance or write a letter asking the court for a continuance. Some courts have a pre-printed form. If you are writing a letter or motion, include your name, other side’s name, court’s name, case number, and reason you need the continuance. Include a good reason for your request, such as a medical or family emergency or an out-of-town business obligation.
File the motion or letter for continuance. You should attach evidence of your need for a continuance. This might include medical records, printout from the clerk showing faulty notice, or a letter from your employer. If the other side objects to your request, your reason and the supporting evidence will be crucial to your success in gaining the continuance.
Request a hearing on your request for a continuance if a hearing is required. (The judge may grant your request without a hearing.) Once the clerk of court gives you a date, you are required to provide the other side with notice according to the rules of your state.
Shannon Johnson graduated from Mercer University School of Law in 2000. She practiced law for five years before beginning her writing career. She currently writes for several legal and non-legal online publications. Johnson has also taught legal research and writing, music business law and entertainment law.