What is the Initial Status Conference?
Every divorce case and most allocation of parenting time cases have an initial status conference as part of the process. Oftentimes, the Court will provide you with the date and time of your initial status conference when you file the case.
The Initial Status Conference (often called “ISC”) is usually scheduled 30 to 40 days after the case has been filed with the court. The ISC is either held in front of a magistrate, a judge, or a family court facilitator.
The ISC is required in all cases, and gives the parties and the court a chance to know what the issues are in each case. The court will ask what has already been completed in terms of exchanging financial disclosures, preparing the sworn financial statement, and taking the parenting class. The court typically prefers that all these have been completed before the ISC, but if they have not, the court will schedule deadlines for these items to be completed.
At the ISC, a party can request that a temporary orders hearing be scheduled. This may be necessary in your case if you need immediate relief regarding maintenance, child support, or need orders to see your children.
The court usually asks at the ISC if experts are needed. Experts in a family law case would include, a child and family investigator (CFI), a PRE (parental responsibility evaluator), an appraiser for the home, a business evaluator, or a vocational evaluator. If an expert is needed, the court generally will give the parties deadlines to obtain an expert that is needed.
Sometimes emergency issues are already occurring at this stage in a case. The court tend to not enter orders at the ISC, but if a parent hasn’t seen his or her child at all, or if one party is in dire need of financial support, the court may enter interim orders to solve these immediate problems. If you are in front of a family court facilitator, he or she will not be able to enter orders in your case.
In summary, the ISC is a chance for the parties to be aware of their responsibilities going forward in a case and for the court to have a sense of what direction each case is taking. If you have any further questions regarding the court process, please call 720-773-2900 to schedule a free initial consultation.