After the Defendant files an Answer, the judge will set a hearing for the parties to appear in court within 90 days. This hearing is called the “Case Management Conference.” Read on for more information about the purpose of this hearing, when it will happen, and what to expect.
What is a Case Management Conference?
The Case Management Conference is an initial hearing where the judge, the attorneys, and the parties meet to discuss the issues involved in the case. The whole purpose is to get your case moving forward. The judge will want to find out the following during the hearing:
- What issues do the parties agree on?
- What issues do the parties disagree on?
- Is there a possibility of a quick settlement of the case?
The judge will decide how to best move your case forward based on the above.
The judge may have the parties go to mediation if you cannot agree on custody of the children. The judge may refer you to another kind of settlement program if other issues are in dispute. The judge may also set deadlines for you and the other party to complete discovery, and may set a trial date.
When Will The Hearing Happen?
The judge will set a court date within 90 days of when the Defendant filed his or her answer. You will receive a notice in the mail from the court with the hearing date included.
How Do I Prepare For the Case Management Conference?
It is a good idea to review some tips on how to Represent Yourself in Court before you go to the hearing.
You must have your Financial Disclosure Form filed before the Case Management Conference. This helps the judge know what financial issues are involved in your case. If you have not already filed your Financial Disclosure Form, download the following document and be sure to file it before the hearing.
Will the Judge make a Final Decision at the Case Management Conference?
Probably not. The judge can only make final orders at this hearing if both parties are in full agreement on all the issues. Otherwise, you will not receive final orders at this hearing. Remember, this is only the first hearing where the judge can find out the issues involved and get your case moving forward. This is not a final hearing where everything will be decided.