Parents in Michigan should make every effort to appear in court for their child custody or support hearings. If circumstances make attending a certain court date difficult or impossible, then a court might accommodate a person’s request to alter the hearing date under limited circumstances.
A person who feels unable to attend a hearing as scheduled could submit a waiver of appearance to a court. A judge might make changes based on the request or potentially issue a default order if the person cannot appear. Hearings usually only take 15 or 30 minutes, and a court might allow someone to participate in a hearing by telephone or video conferencing. Changing the court date or the location of the hearing might also solve a problem for someone who faces challenges getting to court.
When a parent asks a court to alter a hearing time or location, documentation must back up the request. A parent who has moved to a different state needs to show proof of the new address. Someone whose job could be lost by taking a certain day off will need to present a letter from an employer explaining the situation. A parent’s safety might influence a court as well. The presentation of an existing protective order might convince a court to excuse someone from appearing when physically threatened by the other parent.
The representation of a family law attorney might empower someone who needs to ask a court for special consideration. An attorney might file the necessary petitions to protect a person’s rights. Even when someone can attend a scheduled child custody and support hearing, legal advice might prepare them to explain their needs and circumstances. An attorney might present evidence that shows that the person’s custody or support requests comply with legal standards.