How to Prepare for a Family Law Mandatory Settlement Conference
If you are attending a mandatory family law settlement conference, you need to prepare in advance of the meeting. Before the meeting, read up on the purpose and timeframe of the conference. You should also get to know the role of the judge, who is supposed to facilitate settlement by talking sensibly to both parties and helping them reach an agreement. It is important to understand what to expect legally and what is realistic. It is beneficial to speak with a senior judge who has similar knowledge and understanding as the presiding judge. This person will be able to explain the judge’s rulings to you.
Forms to prepare for a family law mandatory settlement conference
Having the right legal forms to prepare for a family law mandatory settlement meeting is essential if you want to get the best outcome in the end. In most cases, the court will require that you submit certain forms ahead of time. These include copies of your income tax returns, proof of your current income, and documents that show how much you own or owe. It is also important to share these documents with the other party as soon as possible to prevent delays in the resolution process.
Mandatory Settlement Conferences are not true court hearings but are a way for the parties to try to resolve their issues before a trial. You will need to fill out a Mandatory Settlement Conference Statement (MSC) before the conference so that you can accurately present your case. The MSC statement is a document that outlines the facts of the case and describes the issues that you are trying to resolve. You will need to provide this statement to the opposing party and the judge conducting the conference.
Purposes of a family law mandatory settlement conference
If the parties cannot agree on a settlement, then the court may require them to attend a settlement conference. Usually, a settlement conference takes place before a trial date is set. In some situations, there may be good cause for a judge to waive the need for a settlement conference. If this happens, the parties must file a Certificate of Readiness Statement with the Clerk, verifying that they have been negotiating.
A settlement conference allows divorcing spouses to discuss the various issues of their divorce and work towards a settlement. The process usually involves a more structured negotiation approach and dispute resolution techniques. Mandatory divorce conferences often take place in a courtroom, where a court-appointed supervisor oversees proceedings. However, voluntary divorce conferences are held outside of court, and usually involve the parties and their family law attorneys. These conferences may last several days or a few hours.
Timeframe of a family law mandatory settlement conference
The timeframe for a family law mandatory settlement conference is six days. During the first six days of the hearing, you must serve your spouse with divorce papers, which you can do by regular service or special service. However, you must be sure that you serve your spouse in time; otherwise, the court staff may not accept your documents. In addition, you must file your documents with the court four days before the scheduled settlement conference.
Once the two parties have met, the family law attorney will act as a temporary judge, assisting the parties to reach a settlement. The parties will then sign the papers that finalize the judgment. If the parties do not reach a settlement agreement, the court will then assign a trial date for the parties.
Working with a professional mediator
Before a mandatory settlement conference, you should work with a professional mediator to prepare for the event. A mediator can help you understand what the judge is looking for during negotiations, and can relay information back and forth between the parties. The mediator can also act as a devil’s advocate, focusing on reaching a compromise for both parties. This will help you reach a comprehensive custody arrangement.
When you work with a mediator to prepare for a mandatory settlement conference, the mediator will meet with you and your attorneys to determine the goals of the settlement conference. The mediator will then help you craft a proposal for settlement, and will carry it back and forth with you until you reach an agreement. The mediator will typically draft a short document that outlines the basic agreement between the parties. This document will be fleshed out later by your attorneys.