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

3. Prepare for your settlement conference

Review your partner’s documents

Your partner must you with a copy of their documents at least 4 days before the date of your .

They have to give you their:

You should read these documents carefully. Make sure you understand what your partner is asking for. Think about ways you and your partner can resolve your issues.

At your settlement conference, you need to be prepared to talk about the issues and how you would like to resolve them. The judge will want to hear about any attempts that you and your partner have made at settling your issues.

Reach out to your partner

Starting May 1, 2022, you must try to reach out to your partner before your settlement conference, if you can, about things like:

  • sharing financial information
  • procedural matters, such as timelines
  • resolving your issues

You can do this in person, in writing, or with the help of a lawyer.

If you don't do this, your settlement conference may be postponed, or you may have to pay your partner's legal costs.

But you don't have to do this in some situations. For example, if there is a no-contact order or there are concerns about family violence by one partner who doesn't have a lawyer.

Confirm your date

You and your partner must tell the court that that you're ready to move ahead and that you'll be at your settlement conference.

You each do this by filling out a Form 17F: Confirmation of Conference. Write down the amount of time you think you'll need at the conference, the specific issues that will be discussed, and the documents the judge should read.

Give your partner a copy of the form before you give it to the court.

You must then the form with the court. Do this no later than 2:00 p.m. at least 3 days before your conference date. If you miss this deadline, the conference may not be held and you will have to get a new date. You can file the form in person at the courthouse or by email through the Justice Services Online website. It can no longer be filed by fax.

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