What is a case conference in my family case and what happens at one?

The goal of a is to get you and your partner to agree on some or all of your issues without bringing a or starting a trial. Every conference is a chance to get closer to agreeing on your issues with your partner.

Combined conferences

Starting August 1, 2021, if you and your partner have tried family mediation, a judge can sometimes allow you to move directly to a combined case conference and settlement conference. See Step 1 for more information.

Get ready for your conference

There are Family Law Rules that tell you what is needed at every step in a court case. Rule 17: Conferences tells you what you need to do to prepare for your case conference and what happens at one.

Keep enough time in your schedule for your conference. You should plan to spend at least half a day in court. While conferences generally take about an hour, the judge may ask you and your partner to take time to discuss and try to resolve your issues.

Family court illustrations

Get legal help

You can talk to a lawyer who can help you with your case conference. If you can't afford to hire a lawyer for your whole case, some lawyers provide “unbundled services” or “limited scope retainer” services. This means you pay them to help you with part of your case.

If you can't afford to hire a lawyer at all, you may be able to find legal help in other places.

Special arrangements

If you need an interpreter or any special arrangement because of a disability, ask for special arrangements.

You can speak with any staff member at court or the Accessibility Coordinator at the courthouse about what you need.

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