My ex filed contemp charges on me and the contempt hearing is set after the custody and visitation trial. They are both on the same issues. I cant say anything at trial or that can be used against me in contempt. I also want a lawyer. I havent been able to get one on short notice I had to let my last one go three weeks ago. The contempt charges I wont get into I dont think I am guilty of anything wrong but that doesnt matter right now what matters first is this trial that I cant go into pro-per with contempt charges....we have never continued this trial yet either
The court is the only one that can continue a trial. Agreeing with opposing counsel is not enough. You need to file an Ex Parte request to continue the trial. The earlier the better so the court has the ability to use the time for something else.
The Ex Parte or emergency hearing will need to tell the court why you need to continue the matter. Retaining new counsel is always a good excuse for a continuance. Needing an attorney to protect your constitutional rights on the contempt is a major issue.
The contempt trial should be heard prior to any custody and visitation trial due to your constitutional rights being protected.
I agree with Mr. Montgomery's answer. I believe it is possible to show up in court on the day set for the hearing on custody and request a continuance at that time based on (1) the fact that you have a contempt hearing coming up and (2) you plan on retaining counsel.