What is a settlement conference in my family case and what happens at one?
1. Fill out your forms
Before your , you have to fill out:
- Form 17: Conference Notice, that has the date of your conference.
- Form 17C: Settlement Conference Brief. In it, you:
- give some information about your family
- give details about your financial situation
- list the issues you and your partner agree on
- list the issues you and your partner don't agree on
- list the issues you want to talk about at the conference and include facts you think the judge needs to know
- include your ideas on how you and your partner can agree on the issues
You also have to fill out:
- An Offer to Settle, that says how you would like to settle some or all of the issues.
- Form 13B: Net Family Property Statement, if there are property issues. In it, you calculate your and on the date you and on the date you separated.
- A joint Form 13C: Comparative Net Family Property Statement, or your own Form 13C, if there are property issues. This form compares the value of your and your partner's assets and debts on the date you married and on the date you separated.
If your case is in the Superior Court of Justice, there are several other rules you must follow. For example:
- you must use a font size of at least 12 points and double spacing on all your forms and documents
- your brief can't be more than 12 pages plus permissible attachments and other documents the Family Law Rules say you must . Examples of permissible attachments include parenting assessments, financial statements, and separation agreements
- you can't attach emails, text messages, and social media posts as attachments. Relevant portions from them should be part of your brief.
Updated financial information
You may also have to give the court updated financial statements if they are more than 60 days old. You have to fill out, , and file one of the following:
- A new Form 13: Financial Statement or Form 13.1: Financial Statement, if there has been a major change to your financial situation.
- A Form 14A: Affidavit, if there is no change or only minor changes to the last you filed. You must include details on all the changes.
You also have to fill out Form 13A: Certificate of Financial Disclosure. In it, you list all the documents that prove what you said in your financial statement.