Some Do’s and Don’ts When You Think You Need a Continuance in Your Family Court Case in Florida

If you have gone through the family court system, the chances are that you may have experienced stress or anxiety in anticipation of your hearing. What if my hearing doesn’t go well? What if the court’s ruling isn’t the outcome my family needs? These feelings are all normal and examples of why it helps to have an experienced attorney on your side. Perhaps you think you can’t afford an attorney. What you should do if you have such concerns is never simply assume, but instead get information first and then make an educated decision about your ability to afford representation. You may find that your options for retaining a skilled Florida child custody attorney could be greater than you might think.

A recent case from Oklahoma that made news headlines recently offered a bizarre example of what not to do in this type of situation. A mom who lived just west of Oklahoma City had a custody hearing approaching soon. She didn’t have an attorney, thinking that she couldn’t afford one. Apparently she was worried that, without counsel, her case would end badly. The mother’s current boyfriend (who was not the father in the custody dispute) decided to try to help his girlfriend. He, in an ill-advised move, phoned in a bomb threat to the courthouse. He thought, according to what he told investigators, that the bomb threat would cause a delay in the case and give his girlfriend some extra time to address her situation, according to KFOR.

For his efforts, the boyfriend received criminal charges and the prospect of a long prison sentence of 3-10 years. News reports did not indicate that the mother participated in, or knew about, the boyfriend’s bomb threat plan, but if she did, her participation could have a negative impact on her court case and her custody arrangement with her kids.

In Florida, if you think you need more time and desire a delay in a court hearing in your family law case, the law does give you an avenue to pursue that. The rules say that a motion for a continuance of a court hearing generally must be made in writing. In that written document, the request needs to state several things. These items include:  (1) the reason you’re requesting a delay, (2) whether or not your opposing party opposes the continuance you’ve requested, and (3) when you anticipate being ready for trial.

Thus, to recap, if you believe you need a delay in your child custody, divorce, or other family law case, you should not participate in any activity that is illegal or could be construed as an attempt to defraud the court. These could have serious ramifications, both within and outside the outcome of your family court case. You should make sure you talk to a knowledgeable Florida family law attorney about your case before you simply assume you cannot afford to retain counsel. Your case is much too important to make decisions without first arming yourself with the information you need to make an intelligent choice. The diligent South Florida child custody attorneys at Sandy T. Fox, P.A. have helped many families going through the family court system and are here to discuss your case with you. Contact our attorneys online or by calling (800) 596-0579 to schedule your confidential consultation.

More blog posts:

Appeals Court Upholds 50-50 Timesharing for North Florida Parents of Six-Year-Old Despite Mom’s Vigorous Opposition, Fort Lauderdale Divorce Lawyer Blog, July 21, 2017

Seeking a Continuance in Your Florida Divorce Case, Fort Lauderdale Divorce Lawyer Blog, Feb. 24, 2017