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Can parents reschedule a child custody hearing?

When Arizona parents decide to divorce, child custody can be one of the most emotionally fraught and challenging issues they face. Many parents may feel like the odds are stacked against them or that their children are being kept from them. These feelings of frustration can multiply when parents are given an inconveniently scheduled hearing. There are steps that parents can take to mitigate the effects and work to protect their rights to involvement in their children's lives.

In some cases, it may be possible to attend the hearing over the phone or through video. Child custody hearings are typically short, unlike an all-day trial. The hearing may last 15 or 30 minutes. Unless planned in advance, witnesses are typically not heard at this type of court case. Therefore, judges may be more likely to accept a remote appearance, especially when no testimony is needed. On the other hand, a family law attorney can also file a motion to seek a postponement of the hearing, stating the parent's reasons for being unable to appear on the originally scheduled date.

The court may take specific factors into account when weighing a request to change a child custody hearing. Documentation is usually necessary to prove that a parent truly cannot be present and is not just trying to delay the hearing. A letter from an employer may help to document an insurmountable conflict with a job. Safety issues can also be considered, such as when one parent has a protection order against the other.

When parents have a conflict with a scheduled child custody hearing, there are steps they can take to preserve their involvement or reschedule the date. A family law attorney may help clients navigate the process and advocate for a favorable outcome.

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