What is a judicial case conference in BC? It is required in all litigation when it comes to family law. It is normally about 60 minutes long, and it takes place with a family law judge.
The goal of the judicial case conference (JCC) is to resolve all the issues before going to a family law court. Going to court is very expensive, both for the parties and for the taxpayers. Therefore, the courts want to see if there is a chance of the parties settling their disputes outside of the courtroom.
Do I Have To Do The JCC?
It’s is almost always required unless there is a unique situation. If you don’t want to do the JCC for whatever reason, you will have to file forms with the court. Normally the only reason why the JCC doesn’t happen is if one party doesn’t feel safe. But keep in mind, the courts have Sheriffs who provide security for all the court staff, judges, lawyers. and parties.
If you cannot accord a full-time lawyer, you should consider self-represented coaching. You can hire a lawyer to help you prepare for the JCC, but not to attend the actual meeting.
That will save you many thousands of dollars. Self-represented coaching is becoming very popular in family law. You pay only for the lawyer’s time that you use.
If you need a lawyer to represent you or provide legal coaching, contact us.
How To Get Ready To Present At The Judicial Case Conference?
The most important part of family law is financial disclosure. This is used for dividing up assets and property, calculating child support, and calculating spousal support (alimony.) All this information needs to be exchanged at least a week before the JCC takes place. You must be honest with the financial disclosure.
Further, you need to be organized. Bring all the documents that support or go against your position. If the judge asks you a question, it’s helpful to be able to show something to confirm what you have said.
The Positions of Both Parties
You will also want to prepare a binder that explains how the spouses met, when they moved in, when they had children, and when they separated. Have as much detail as possible. You will also want to include what the positions of both parties are. The goal is to help the judge understand the issues so that they can help move things forward.
Keep in mind the judge wasn’t there for any of your relationships, so they know nothing. Don’t leave out important details. Tell a story to the judge. But make sure to focus on the most important parts. Keep in mind the judge will often be most concerned about the children instead of the parents.
What Happens If The Judicial Case Conference Fails?
The judge will often recommend mediation, arbitration, or start planning the trial. Keep in mind that less than 3% of legal disputes make it to trial. Family law trials often cost more than $30,000. If you are self-represented, you are going to have a very hard time during a trial. Do you know how to cross-examine someone?
Do you know how to do closing arguments? It’s unlikely you know the rules around evidence and objections. Get help from a family lawyer if your matter makes it to trial. If you lose your case, you will likely have to pay the other parties’ legal costs anyway.
Author: Alistair Vigier is the CEO of ClearWay Law