Family Court Dictionary: Continuance

We continue through the new series about legal terminology and what different words mean when you hear your lawyer or a judge say them.  Last week we discussed Summons and Complaint.  Today we are going to discuss a continuance.

When you are going through your divorce or family court matter, you may hear your attorney mention that he is going to request a continuance for a hearing or that the other party is requesting a continuance.  You may find yourself in the courtroom at what you think is your final hearing (as I did this week) and the judge announces that this matter must be continued for another day. Typically this situation arises because one of the parties has backed out of an agreement or issues that were previously agreed upon are now being contested requiring additional time for the trial of the case.  Sometimes a case is continued because the other party was not given proper notice of the hearing.  Sometimes, a party or lawyer is just sick or a lawyer gets called into another court with higher priority.

So what is a continuance?

In plain English, a continuance means the case is being postponed for another date.  So when your case is continued that means that a hearing that has been scheduled will now just be heard on a different date.  Sometimes this is pretty frustrating as you were hoping to get your case finalized on that date.  Most attorneys will allow the opposing attorney a continuance in a case as a professional courtesy.

So there you have it, that’s a continuance.


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  3. These articles are great resources. Legal jargon can be confusing to many people, but it is important to research and understand the terms.

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