Options when a parent has difficulty making a court date

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Child Custody on Wednesday, November 13, 2019.

Parents in Illinois dealing with child custody issues might encounter an inconvenient court hearing date and wish to change it. While it is not always possible to do so, there are options that might allow it or provide alternative ways for a parent to appear in court. The procedure for this varies from state to state, but there are general guidelines about what a parent can do.

In most cases, courts will not change a hearing date. There are exceptions to this, however. If a parent has moved to a different state and has difficulty physically getting around, a court might allow a date change. Another reason a court might consider changing a hearing date for child custody is if the date would negatively impact the parent’s employment. Finally, a court might change the hearing date if a parent fears for their safety by attending the hearing. In those cases, the parent must show proof of the situation via a court order of protection or through other evidence. For the court to grant a change or postponement of a hearing date, the parent must provide documentation for the required change.

In many of these cases, the court might suggest a different method of appearing at the hearing, such as via telephone or video. A parent might also request to waive their appearance at a court hearing, and a judge could accept and institute a default order or ask the parent to appear via one of the alternative methods. A parent’s difficulties with attending a court hearing, however, do not reflect on their desire to maintain their parenting time with their children.

As a parent navigates the child custody process, they might consult with a lawyer with family law experience. A lawyer may assist the parent in gathering their documentation and in preparing a plan for the process.

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