A lot of people ask what a family law case conference is. They mostly agree that negotiating with their spouse has failed and things are starting to get more serious.
They did not contact any lawyers when they started the separation or support issues a long time ago because they never thought it would get this far. Now they know they need a family lawyer to help them.
If you are looking for a law firm, contact us. We can then connect you with an attorney. We can assign a lawyer that is closest to you.
Our company can also select lawyers depending on your budget. The lawyers’ rates vary depending on how senior they are.
What is a family law case conference?
Case conferences happen before issues go to family court. The goal is to agree on as many things as possible to reduce the amount of court time needed. Most of the time the case conference is held in a conference room at the courthouse.
If the parties don’t have lawyers representing them, it will normally happen in the family courtroom. This is because there will be a need to keep things organized. When people go to court without lawyers, things can get messy and it puts a massive amount of stress on the court system.
Case conference normally lasts between 1-6 hours depending on how many issues there are. It also depends on if progress is being made or not.
We have been getting a lot of calls for limited scope retainers. Many people want a family lawyer to help them prepare for court. They might be willing to spend around $5K on legal fees, but no more.
They are okay with going to court by themselves, but they need help preparing for the case conference. The lawyers can help you prepare for court. Speak to us first, sign the lawyer agreement, and then send the lawyer everything they need to help prepare for the conference.
Since a meeting is not required with the lawyer, the lawyer can assist anyone in your province. Most of the communication happens on the phone and email.
Family Law Judge
The case conference will happen at the beginning of each family law litigation. The judge will want to see how many of the issues can be agreed upon. The judge will also be looking to make short-term orders (temporary) while things progress.
This is often related to child custody as the courts want to protect children. An issue like property division can normally wait until later.
It is also important that all documents are exchanged prior to the court dates. Financial documents and other documents will need to be sent to each other.
If you need a family lawyer, please contact us. Live chat is an easy way to get a hold of us. We will connect you with a law firm.
Family Lawyer Locations
- Oakville Family Lawyer
- Hamilton Family Lawyer
- Scarborough Family Lawyer
- Kingston Family Lawyer
- Burlington Family Lawyer
- Edmonton Family Lawyer
- Mississauga Family Lawyer
- London Family Lawyer
- Toronto Family Lawyer
We can connect you with family lawyers who often get contacted by potential clients asking about what a family law case conference is. We acknowledge that family law can be very confusing.
There are also several self-represented individuals who do research online to understand the steps of family law. To clarify things we put together this blog.
The purpose of a Family Law Case Conference
- Agree on the key legal issues to be resolved
- Make a list of what issues are not in dispute
- Work on the plan to resolve those issues
- The disclosure needed by both parties
- Resolve the issues
- A judge can make an order
- Bring a motion
- Ask to receive a financial statement
- Set a date for a trial
- Get a consent order
The case conference is often around a one-hour meeting between your lawyer, the other parties’ lawyer, and a judge. Some people attend the case conference without lawyers. The meeting is informal as it is not a trial.
You will often get a new judge if the issue goes to a hearing. The judge acts as a mediator during this stage of the family law matter.
Family law can be complicated. Therefore, it’s important to hire the right lawyer.
Sometimes the case conference is held in a private meeting and sometimes in open court. It depends on which court you attend.
It often takes 2-6 months to schedule a case conference depending on where the parents and/or children live. Individuals need to attend the case conference; they should not simply send their lawyers.
Discussions At A Case Conference
The judge won’t make a significant order at this stage. A significant order can include spousal support or division of assets.
If you need a family lawyer to attend a case conference, please contact us.
The judge is also going to look at the possibility of setting the case without going to trial.
Good lawyers should be working towards the goal of a settlement as well. If there is the possibility of a settlement, it is likely that the date will be set for a settlement conference. Multiple conferences can be held with the goal of movies the parties closer to an agreement.
During the case conference, a judge might make some procedural orders. This often is about forcing the parties to disclose to each other.
Family Lawyer Services
- Child Custody
- Child Support
- Family Agreements
- Mediation & Arbitration
- Property & Debt Division
- Separation & Divorce
- Spousal Support
- Family Law Act
Settlement Conference Disclosure List
- All your assets (property, vehicles, air miles, bank accounts, mutual funds…etc.)
- Your debts
- How much income both spouses make (income tax returns)
- How many expenses were spent on the child (to determine child support)
- Employment insurance if applicable
Often both parties are given thirty days from the case conference to provide the disclosure.
In conclusion, if you have questions about the family law case conference, contact us!
We can connect you with lawyers that offer self-represented coaching if you do not want to have a lawyer represent you.
Author: Alistair Vigier is the CEO of ClearWay Law