Scheduling a Custody or Child Support Court Date

What to Do When the Timing of Your Court Date is Inconvenient

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Parents who are facing a child support or child custody hearing may have the unfortunate case of the hearing being scheduled at a time or place that is inconvenient to one parent. Here is some information about what a parent should do when a child custody or child support hearing is scheduled in an inconvenient place or time:

Appearance By Phone or Video

Often, if a court schedules a child custody or child support hearing at an inconvenient time or place, it may be possible to request an alternative form of appearance such as via phone or video.

Postponement of Case

A court may change the date or time of a child custody or child support hearing to accommodate a parent who is unable to appear on the original date.

Change of Forum to a More Convenient Place

If a parent has moved to a different state from the child's custodial parent, the relocated parent can request a change in forum for a child support or child custody case. However, it is quite likely that a court will not change the forum, as the court is more likely to insist that the court hearing occurs where the child lives.

Factors Considered By the Court in Making Changes to a Scheduled Child Support or Child Custody Hearing

  • Parent has relocated to a different state
  • Parent is employed during the hearing
  • Parent fears for his/her safety against the other parent

Waiver of Appearance During a Child Support or Child Custody Hearing

A parent may request a waiver of his/her appearance at a child custody or child support hearing if the time and place is inconvenient.

In that case, a judge may institute a default order or may ask a parent to appear in one of the manners already mentioned.

Documentation Required By the Court to Support a Change of Place or Time

A court will expect a parent to present documentation of inability to appear at an original court hearing.

Documentation may include:

  • Letter from current employer and/or
  • Proof of new address

For more information about child custody and child support hearings, speak with a qualified attorney in your state or visit additional resources about child custody guidelines and child support guidelines.