It sounds like this is either an emergent or an expedited hearing unless service was not perfected in accordance with the court rules for petitions. A continuance most likely won't be granted but you may want to try anyway, especially if you need to obtain counsel. Mention the fact that you only received the papers a few days ago. If you receive a continuance, perhaps a pro bono legal service would represent you if you qualify for their assistance.
Instead of a continuance, a hearing will probably be held and an interim order will probably result. The court will probably schedule another hearing in the future, which could be weeks or months away.
The court will evaluate the best interest of the child in determining custody. At a minimum, you should refer to the factors described in the new custody statute to formulate your questions. Craft them to the specific facts in your case. Focus on getting the most relevant questions asked first, even if you think there are many important things you would like to get into the record if you could. This is not easy to do but since you are short on time and money, you will need to do the best you can.
PS: Please mark this as a best answer if it is most helpful to you.
The Law Office of Christopher Barrett Fay, 1325 Spruce St., Philadelphia, PA 19107, email@example.com, (267) 519-2719, www.cfaylaw.com. LEGAL DISCLAIMER: The law changes frequently, and the material on this website is for general information purposes only and neither constitutes nor is intended to be legal advice. You should not act based upon this general information nor without seeking legal counsel regarding your specific legal matter. The outcome of every case is dependent on the specific facts and legal circumstances of each individual case. Any client reviews or attorney endorsements posted on this website are solely the opinion of that person and should not be construed as representative of the results you might expect to receive in your specific legal matter. No one can offer a review or endorsement concerning the type or quality of legal work they received in relation to the type or quality of legal work that might be done for you if you become a client of this office. This website is not advertising. This website is not an offer to represent you, which can only be made after a consultation with one of our attorneys. This website and its feature to contact us do not create an attorney-client relationship between you and The Law Office of Christopher Barrett Fay or any of its attorneys. The Law Office of Christopher Barrett Fay practices law only in the states of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The Law Office of Christopher Barrett Fay does not intend to practice in any other jurisdictions where it is not licensed. The firm does not seek to represent anyone viewing this website in other jurisdictions, and the website may not comply with the laws and ethical rules of states other than Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Pursuant to the requirements of U.S. Treasury Regulation Circular 230, any tax advice contained in this communication (including any attachments) is not intended to be used, and cannot be used to avoid penalties imposed under the United States Internal Revenue Code or to promote, market or recommend to another person any tax-related matter.
Please help me understand who you are intending to ask questions. The most important question I have is what is the issue being heard? If you have only received notice 4 days ago, my first question would be whether notice was properly served and whether you were given enough time (as prescribed by the law) to prepare for the hearing. I would also ask whether you can get an extension of time (postpone the hearing) in order to consider hiring an attorney, or at least speaking with a local attorney to prepare for your hearing. If you have limited financial means, you may consider contacting legal aid - but again, you'll need more time. In Texas, courts look at what is in the "best interest of the child" in all issues concerning child custody.
If you just received notice, you may wish to ask for a continuance to obtain counsel. You should be prepared to tell the court what efforts you have made to find a lawyer.
Sign up to receive a 5-part series of useful information and advice about child custody law.