After a divorce or separation, there is a chance that a parent will move from California to another state. There is also a chance that he or she works irregular hours or is needed for an urgent project. Therefore, it may not be possible for a parent to attend a child custody hearing on a certain date or at a certain time. The good news is that it may be possible to have the hearing postponed or moved to a different venue.
If a parent has moved to a different state, it will be important to bring proof of the new address. If a parent needs to have a hearing postponed because it conflicts with his or her work schedule, a judge will want to see a letter from the employer confirming this. It is important to note that a child custody hearing may take as little as 15 minutes to complete.
The court will not hear any witness testimony during the hearing. Therefore, it may be possible for parents to participate in the hearing by phone or by video. Parents will likely need to submit an appearance waiver and have it approved by a judge before being granted the right to do so. Individuals may also be allowed to attend a hearing by phone or video if they fear for their safety.
The best interests of the child are what a judge will use to determine the terms of a child custody order. While parents may be able to create their own parenting plan, a judge will likely need to sign off on it before it becomes official. An attorney may be able to help an individual take steps to get as much parenting time as possible regardless of whether that person is granted custody rights.