Some of the most common disputes in Ohio divorces involve child custody issues. Whether the case is acrimonious or the negotiations are relatively cordial, there is much for parents to consider. A commonly understated and complicated part of a case is when the hearing is scheduled.
The court takes certain factors into consideration when deciding if the schedule should be changed to accommodate a parent. There are several alternatives if the hearing is scheduled at an inappropriate time. In some situations, the appearance can be made via video or phone. Since child custody hearings do not have witnesses, they do not take as long as a court appearance – around 15 minutes to a half-hour – and this could be a viable option.
The case could be postponed until a more convenient time. Courts might be agreeable if the parent cannot appear and a change is necessary. The location could be problematic. For example, if one parent has moved out of Ohio and it is difficult to return for the hearing, the forum can be changed. This may be an unlikely outcome since the court often wants to have the hearing where the child lives.
The parent who requires the change should show documentation as to why he or she cannot appear. If the previous example of a parent having moved is the issue, then the new address should be provided. Other potential reasons are employment requirements and safety concerns. Finally, a waiver of appearance can be requested. The judge has to ability to make a default order or request that the parent appear via phone or video. Child custody hearings are an important part of family law. For parents who need to have the scheduled hearing changed, having legal assistance may be necessary.