Learn About Case Management Conferences
Imagine going through the nasty process of a contested divorce where it’s up to a judge who gets your property, decides on alimony and debts, and also makes the call about who gets custody of your kids.
Any contested divorce, when you include discovery and depositions, might take from 8 up to 14 months. Up until the moment the judge makes their final order, and all throughout the divorce case, your judge is going to make a handful of temporary orders. These temporary orders often happen at hearings known as case management conferences.
What Is A CMC?
CMCs are crucial hearings that judges have to hold no later than 90 days after an answer gets filed. CMC hearings are often the initial hearings in contested divorce actions. They’re also typically brief. Each party, and their attorneys, have to appear in the CMC and participate. Should any party not attend, then the judge might reschedule it while also ordering non-appearing parties to pay the other party an award of certain fees.
What Transpires At A CMC?
The CMC’s purpose is to let a judge move forward with the case in the direction of the intended finish line, which is a granted divorce. During the CMC hearing, the collective group of the judge, parties, and attorneys will all do these things:
- Recite any and all agreements that have been reached
- Identify issues that are in current dispute
- Direct the specific parties that have a burden of proof in particular issues
- Contemplate the likelihood of a prompt settlement
- If a prompt settlement is deemed likely, then the parties are ordered to undergo a settlement conference or mediation
- Establish things for a trial and/or evidentiary hearing
- Formulate a discovery plan covering every party’s collection and disclosure of evidence
- Undergo temporary orders designed to keep the peace
- Talk about budgeting for litigation costs
- Discuss sourcing funds for litigation costs
What Happens Prior To The CMC?
Every party involved has obligations they must meet before the CMC. Initially, every party has to file their financial disclosure form, or FDF. They also have to make sure the other parties have access to it.
Also, every party has to serve mandatory disclosures for the other involved party. This includes a broad spectrum of financial documents and information.
Finally, each party, as well as their attorneys, must hold an ECC. The early case conference is an opportunity to talk about mandatory disclosures, among other matters. They also have to file a report summarizing their ECC. This report will let the judge know what issues the attorneys resolved already and which ones are remaining for the judge to settle.
Every party has the option of filing and serving a brief prior to the CMC. This brief would have relevant information about each party and the overall case. Briefs like these are intended to help a judge get ready for the CMC.
Unless each party comes to a mutual agreement on every issue, then the Judge isn’t going to grant a divorce nor make their final decision at the CMC. That waits for a trial. A trial is usually the conclusive event for any contested divorce, and trials usually happen multiple months after a CMC.
So, what can you do in the meanwhile if your current spouse grabbed all the money and put you out of your marital home? What can you do if your spouse keeps you from contacting your kids or refuses to offer them financial support?
What Are Motions For Temporary Orders?
In divorce actions before trial, any party can file and then serve motions requesting the judge issue temporary orders that assist that party with continuing matters regarding children and finances.
After a judge takes the financial considerations of each party, and the best interests of minors, into account, they can possibly order any party to do the following:
- Pay spousal support as temporary maintenance to another party
- Pay out temporary child support towards another party
- Make temporary visitation custody orders
- Pay money for the attorney costs and fees of another party
- Move out of a marital residence, awarding exclusive possession to another party
Temporary orders are short-term fixes to deal with current issues while everyone waits for the trial. Temporary orders will only stay in effect until the trial, which is when the judge will make all final decisions while granting the divorce.
Filing Requirements For Pre- And Post-Motions
Typically speaking, before any party can file motions for temporary orders, they must first seek to resolve disputed issues with other parties. If a motion incorporates any request for money to get paid from any other party, then it’s up to the moving party to file a complete, precise, and timely FDF supporting the motion.
Finally, if a motion incorporates requests for child visitation or custody, then it’s likely that the moving party will also be mandated to initiate mediation via the family mediation center.
Failing to do any of these might result in the judge either denying the motion or just delaying the hearing related to that motion.
A CMC is often the initial hearing for any contested divorce process. In some cases, it’s the only actual hearing that will be held prior to the trial. While the intention of the CMC is to give the judge a chance to move a divorce case in the direction of resolution, this hearing is also a chance for a judge to develop impressions about the involved parties and have an early assessment of the merits of the party positions. Never underestimate the importance of a CMC hearing.
At the same time, never underestimate the importance of motions for temporary orders that are written and presented clearly and strongly. Judges rely on the information given to them in motions to make big decisions that affect the lives of each party for many months to come. Any information communicated with your judge needs to be relevant and high in caliber.
Never enter a CMC hearing unprepared. Never file motions for temporary orders that are legally insufficient or just ineffective. Contact Douglas Crawford Law right away to speak with our veteran child custody and divorce lawyers right away!
For more information on how https://douglascrawfordlaw.com/ can help you with Case Management Conferences, please contact us at (702) 383-0090, or visit us here:
501 S 7th St, Las Vegas, NV 89101