When you set a hearing in a family law case in Dallas County prior to the final trial, the hearing is generally held in the associate judge’s courtroom. Normal hearings are set on the docket with several other cases at the same time. Each court has a 9:00 docket and a 1:30 docket, and there may be ten cases set each day on each docket.
If your hearing is going to take a while, then the court will require you to have a special setting. This means that the court will block out time just for your hearing on another day.
If I know a case will require a special setting, I try to reach an agreement with the other side to have the case specially set right off the bat. This saves both parties the time and cost of showing up for the normal docket only to be reset. If the other side has not yet had an attorney appear in the case, it can be difficult to reach an agreement on a special setting because that person often does not understand the situation. Depending on the particular court’s schedule, it may be possible to get a special setting within a few days, or it may take a few weeks.