The Harris County judges will bend over backwards for our service men and women -- but they need the proper paperwork handed to them so that they can do their job. Their dockets are overwhelmed -- as I'm sure you have already seen. Plus, if the other attorney is not a family law attorney you don't have someone that can help you with submitting the proper paperwork.
Also, with the difference in time between Texas and Afghanistan it will make it difficult, but not impossible, with doing a telephone call with the judge.
Of course, the commander does not understand that the Judge must follow the laws of the State of Texas and someone must appear in front of him/her and testify under oath to get evidence before the judge so that the judge can make rulings.
Only people that have "personal knowledge" can testify. The attorney(s) cannot testify to anything because they did not "witness" anything. Generally the parties (husband and/or wife) testify in a divorce. Additionally, any person that witnessed anything that is willing to come to court and be cross-exmained by the other attorney can also testify. (Affidavits are not allowed.) The military deployed spouse is allowed to testify (as the other attorney mentioned) via written questions that have been answered via notary -- but perhaps it can also be done via phone or skype.
Please hire an experienced family law attorney to help you. Check out this excellent website to locate a Harris county attorney to help you. Or you can go to the State Bar of Texas website to find an attorney. Prices will vary quite a bit. You don't need a board certified attorney. FYI: Advanced Family Law seminar is being held Monday-Thursday in downtown Houston August 6-9, 2012 so many attorneys will be attending, therefore, they won't be in their offices next week seeing clients or answering their phones. The seminar ends around 5pm so they might return calls in the evening.
Please don't call me because I only mediate these days. (You can look on my website -- www.familylaw4u.com for the attorney that I am referring litigated cases to -- but she will be at Advanced Family Law next week. Her assistant is booking appointments for her -- but she is really booking up quickly for August. She takes payment plans & her first appointment is free. )
Is the hearing date a final trial date or a hearing on some type temporary orders? I suggest getting a lawyer involved to handle this procedurally. The judge may allow a telephonic hearing such as SKYPE or you may be able to accomplish the same thing with a deposition on written questions. I'm sorry I'm not answering your question in more detail, but it wasn't clear/specific enough for me to do so.
I am not intending this to be legal advice, because I don't know the particulars of your situation. Call me if you would like to discuss this or other isues.
A weekly guide with tips and legal advice for each stage of the process.