Once a petition to modify a custody order is filed, the court will schedule a “show cause hearing.” Once the show cause hearing is scheduled, the court will order the responding party, the party that did not file the petition, to appear and provide a satisfactory explanation to the court. Put another way, the order directs the party to appear in court and explain why the party acted or failed to act, and why the court should or should refrain from granting the requested relief.
After hearing both sides on the particular issue, the court may order the relief requested by the moving party. Alternatively, the court could also find there is no basis for the relief. In some situations, where a party willfully and repeatedly violates a court order, the court could even find one party to be in contempt of court which could result in fines or even imprisonment.