You Can Get a Continuance (Postponement to another date) on Your Divorce Case in Franklin County, Ohio: Here is How!

court delay man looking at his watch

Sometimes, there is a valid reason why one spouse or the other may need or request a continuance in divorce proceedings.

Do you live in or around Columbus? Here are some great tips on how to get a continuance on your divorce case in Franklin County, Ohio:

Go to the court and ask the bailiff

Sometimes, it really is as simple as this. Whether this method works depends heavily on how busy the court is.

Hire an attorney and ask the attorney to do it

More often than not, a judge will be more inclined to listen to an attorney’s request for a continuance than a request from a non-attorney. Make sure it is for a good reason.

It really helps if you have never asked for one before

People who ask for more than one continuance run the risk of looking disorganized and disrespectful of the court’s time. So, if you only ask for one continuance, then you are far more likely to get it. The first one is usually not a problem.

Ask the other side or counsel if it is OK

A continuance can be much harder to obtain if the other party involved in the lawsuit is resistant to it. If you ask the other side or your ex-spouse’s counsel if a continuance is okay, then they might be more likely to agree to it because you are showing respect by asking for it.

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If you cannot be there for military reasons

A continuance request due to a legitimate military scheduling conflict is highly likely to be approved by the court. The courts do not like to get in the way of military service.

If you cannot be there for medical reasons

Like military service, continuance requests for medical reasons are highly likely to be approved. If you go into surgery suddenly or if you break your leg, etc., then the court tends to be understanding. Just make sure you communicate.

If you are not prepared and it is not your fault

There could be other legitimate reasons why you might need a continuance. For example, if there was a death in the family, or if some other serious tragedy has happened.

If the judge knows that you are prepared and something happened that is outside of your control, then there is a good chance that your continuance request will be granted.

If you cannot be there for other legal reasons

This could include a criminal trial, a civil suit, jury duty, etc.

If you have planned on being somewhere else and it is important to you

For example, if one of your best friends is getting married and you had been planning on attending the wedding for months, or if you booked a vacation a year in advance, etc.

If you have what the court calls "good cause"

Good cause refers to reasons to continue the divorce case that are acceptable to the courts. Examples include the unavailability of an essential witness, and the unavailability of a council due to illness, discovery still due, etc.

Bonus: Good cause example from a real divorce case:

  1. To determine whether or not a motion for a continuance will be granted, the trial court should consider such factors as the length of the delay requested;
  2. Whether other continuances have been requested and received;
  3. The inconvenience to litigants, witnesses, opposing counsel, and the court;
  4. Whether the requested delay is for legitimate reasons or whether it is dilatory, purposeful, or contrived
  5. Whether the defendant contributed to the circumstance which gives rise to the request for a continuance;
  6. Any other relevant factors, depending on the unique facts of the case. Look up the case of Unger, 67 Ohio St.2d at 67-68 or Elijah Council v. Charstine Council, 2010-Ohio-3445, 23514 for more information.
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