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.
The answer to your question is not intended to provide you with legal advice you should rely on, only a general indication of what the law might provide. You may have provided only a limited description of your situation and I may be unaware of important facts that could affect your case. My answering your question does not create an attorney-client relationship between us.
I agree with my colleagues. The judge will likely grant the continuance given the fact that the contempt is pending anyway. You may be entitled to legal representation on the contempt action but that attorney will not be your attorney on the other issue.
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