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What is a motion for continuance?

Family law cases can be very complicated, and it's common for these cases to be very intense as well, with both parties fighting over custody, child support or property division. To the disappointment and frustration of some, these cases can also take months to resolve. It's important to understand that family law is complex and that it's important for your lawyer and the courts to take the time they need to give the case their full attention and consideration.

In some cases, however, there may be a need to extend a hearing date. This is usually called a continuance and may be filed in the courts by either party's lawyer. A motion for continuance is really just a request to the courts that the hearing date be postponed for some reason. If the other party requests the continuance, you should get a copy of the motion that lists the reason why he or she is asking for more time.

It's important to review this carefully and ask your attorney any questions you have about why the continuance has been requested and whether you can do anything if you object. While the courts often grant one continuance to each lawyer as necessary as a courtesy, a motion for continuance is not automatically approved, especially if the other party objects.

Common reasons for a motion for continuance could be if one party retains new counsel or needs a different date to ensure the availability of a witness. If you have questions about why your ex is requesting a continuance or if you think you may need one yourself, a family law attorney can help you understand how these guidelines apply to your case.

Source: United States District Court District of Colorado, "Civil Rules for the District of Colorado," accessed July 28, 2015

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Law Offices of Rodger C. Daley

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