If you have gone through a divorce you are probably aware that there are a number of motions and hearings involved to determine everything from how property will be divided to child care issues. It can be a rather protracted process that can leave you exhausted by the time it has concluded.

For most people it does not take long before they realize that the final disposition of the court may not actually be the final hearing they have to go through. One parent may file petitions requesting that the other appear in court to address a wide number of issues, usually related to something having to do with the children.

The Show Cause Hearing

In this type of hearing, one parent or spouse is filing a petition asking the court for some form of relief. There are actually many different kinds of cases or issues that can be involved in this type of hearing, including such things as requesting the court to enforce court ordered child support or visitation rights, that property be forfeited or return, alimony payments be made or reduced, and many other issues related to family law cases.

In relation to child support, a person filing a petition for a show cause hearing is usually asking the court to modify the child support payment in some form or another. This can happen because a parent finds him or herself unable to make payments due to a change in job, a reduction in pay, or because of some emergency that has arisen.

Once one of the parents has made a request, the court will then schedule the hearing date. How the term “show cause” relates to these kinds of cases is that it is the obligation of the person filing a petition to supply some kind of evidence that would sway the court to rule in their favor. In other words, they are to show cause of why the court should agree with them.

The original order served requires that the party the petition is served to appears in court, who in return can show cause of why the petition should not be agreed upon. Understand that both parties must show cause as to how the judge should rule on the petition.

In many of these cases, the show cause order is related to neglect of some kind by one of the parents. It could be a situation where a parent continuously fails to show for their scheduled visitation time or that the other parent fails to drop the child off so that the noncustodial parent can have their visitation time. The petition before the court is to show cause of why the court should take action against the parent who is failing to abide by the obligations set by the court order.

Why Show Cause Hearings Happen

In many of these cases, the show cause order is related to neglect of some kind by one of the parents. It could be a situation where a parent continuously fails to show for their scheduled visitation time or that the other parent fails to drop the child off so that the noncustodial parent can have their visitation time. The petition before the court is to show cause of why the court should take action against the parent who is failing to abide by the obligations set by the court order.

There are also instances where a parent may need to make a modification to the amount of support provided each month. If this modification is being requested by the noncustodial parent they can file a motion for an order to show cause, which will request that the court decrease the amount of support provided in some way.

As part of the petition, it is the obligation of the petitioner to provide documentation that supports whatever request they are making. This is important because you cannot just simply file the motion without some kind of support or rationale for your request.

What Happens During the Hearing

When the hearing date is set, both parents will have the opportunity to address the judge to discuss their particular set of facts and to explain how the petition should be ruled upon. It is the obligation of each parent to present documentation and other facts that support their side so that the judge can make a completely informed decision.

It should also be noted that when one of the parents fails to show for the hearing, this will inevitably mean that the judge will rule against them, especially if they are the person who originally filed the petition that led to the show cause hearing. If you have filed such a petition and failed to show, you can be sure the judge’s ruling against you and will not grant you this opportunity again.

Seek Out the Help of a Family Law Attorney

No matter which side of the aisle you are on in one of these cases, it is imperative that you seek the assistance of an attorney to help you in this kind of matter. Consider that if you are seeking to adjust child support in some way or the other parent is seeking an adjustment in child support, this can lead to you receiving or providing tens of thousands of additional dollars over the formative years of your children. You may not have that kind of money to spend, so it pays to be smart about how you will defend yourself.

By coming to JacksonWhite we can assist you by providing you with information that can help you in the hearing. Should you choose to be represented by us, we will help you get the documentation you need, file any documents you need prior to the hearing occurring, and prepare you as well as any other witnesses so that you are ready and prepared for the hearing.

Contact us today and we will be happy to assist you in preparing for this hearing. We will provide you with important legal advice you need so that you have the best chance of succeeding in this petition.

Call the Family Law Team at (480) 467-4348 to discuss your case today.

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