The Procedure for Court Postponement of a Divorce Hearing

By Timothy Mucciante

Any court proceeding, including a divorce, has a schedule that the judge has set. Many courts issue scheduling orders that set the time for discovery cut-off, motion filing cut-off, settlement conferences and mediation. In courts with mandatory divorce mediation, the mediation panel may decide the schedule. Work schedules, other prior scheduled obligations and emergencies may interfere with the dates mandated in the court's scheduling order. If appropriate, a judge may grant a postponement in a divorce case.

Divorce Civil Procedure

The reasons that a divorce may be granted differ among states, as does the actual procedure used in a divorce case. Unless a specific procedural issue is covered in a state's divorce law, the state's rules of civil procedure guide a divorce proceeding. Civil procedure rules may be passed by a state's legislature or promulgated by the state supreme court. However these rules come about, they govern how you may seek a postponement in a divorce case.

Acceptable Reasons for a Postponement

The pace at which a divorce case proceeds through any judge's courtroom may be monitored by a state court administrator, and the judge may receive a rating as to the efficiency of his courtroom. Because of this, many judges are hesitant to grant a postponement in a divorce case for any reason other than a good reason. Valid reasons that would support a judge granting a postponement include: if the couple wishes to seek reconciliation, if valid scheduling conflicts exist with a medical or or other professional appointment, or if the couple needs additional preparation time.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More

Making the Postponement Request

To seek a postponement of a divorce hearing, you file a motion with the court. This postponement is also sometimes referred to as a continuance. Many courts require that the party requesting the continuance ask the opposing party for their agreement to the postponement, and also to agree on a new court date. If the opposing party does not agree to the request, then the judge will hear the motion at a motion hearing. If the judge grants the motion, he will issue an order that sets a new court date.

Confirming the New Date

Whether the court granted the postponement after a motion hearing or if it was granted that resulted from an agreement between the parties, you should confirm the new hearing date in two ways. First, check the actual court order that was issued to verify that the order correctly states the new date. Second, when the date for the divorce hearing draws near, call the court clerk and the opposing party to confirm the date for the upcoming hearing.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More
Can You Put a Divorce on Hold in California?


Related articles

How to File a Continuance Hearing in a Family Law Court

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.

What to Expect at a Pretrial for Divorce in Michigan

A judge uses a pretrial conference to review the status of your divorce case and plan out the next steps for your divorce. Status conferences keep your divorce proceedings on track and help simplify the legal issues that must be resolved at trial, such as property division, child custody, child support and spousal support. A complicated divorce with many unresolved issues often requires more than one pretrial hearing.

How to File an Extension for a Divorce

Courts are generally busy with many cases on their dockets, so they like to keep everything moving according to set timelines. However, courts are often generous in granting extensions for a final divorce hearing in cases where the parties are attempting to settle their differences concerning property or child custody. Courts are even more generous in granting extensions when the parties are attempting to reconcile. If you want to extend the time before your divorce is granted, you can ask the court if it will allow it.

Get Divorced Online

Related articles

How to Postpone a Divorce Court Day

Divorce hearings are scheduled at the court's convenience. However, judges have the discretion to push back a hearing ...

How Long Can a Divorce Be Postponed in Indiana?

For all practical purposes, Indiana is a no-fault state. Its statutes don't include the typical fault grounds of ...

Can My Ex Delay Our Custody Hearing?

If you have a custody hearing scheduled before a court, the hearing will normally take place at the scheduled date and ...

Can a Person Ask for a Continuance Without a Lawyer During a Divorce Hearing in Virginia Law?

Rescheduling a divorce hearing can provide you with more time to prepare your case. In Virginia, a request to ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED