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No-one wants to go to court. It is expensive, lengthy and adversarial. You are not in control as a Judge makes a decision. It is public. In contrast, any of the processes above is less expensive, faster and collaborative. The children’s interests are protected. The relationships are preserved. The parties are in control as they make decisions. It is a private process.

That being said, it will always be needed for some files. Hopefully, you do not have one of those files. If you do then we also offer that service. If you do have to go to court then we will be as efficient as possible and use the strengths of the court system to your advantage.

Contact us today to book an appointment and find out how we can assist you with the court process in family law as efficiently as possible, using the strengths of the court system to your advantage.

The First Appearance

in Family Law

The first appearance in court is called a case conference.

 

The goal at the case conference is to ensure that disclosure (paperwork) has been exchanged or will be exchanged and to narrow the issues. The presiding Judge does not have jurisdiction to make a substantive order at the case conference. The idea is that you go see the Judge, see what he or she says about the issues, then go out in the hallway and make a deal.

The Second Appearance

in Family Law

The second appearance is a motion - which usually follows the case conference but is not mandatory. At this appearance a Judge has the jurisdiction to make a substantive order but only on a temporary basis. An order made on a motion only lasts until the final order is made at trial.

Settlement Conference

The next appearance is usually a settlement conference. It is similar to a case conference but all of the information is available, and you get more time with a Judge e.g. usually one hour.

in Family Law

Trial Conference

in Family Law

If the matter does not settle then it is placed on a trial list.

 

 

The applicant proceeds to call witnesses and evidence. The respondent replies. The Judge makes a final order. The final order can be appealed.

 

There can be multiple case conferences, motions and settlement conferences. There are sometimes urgent motions brought before case conferences. There are other potential steps e.g. questioning where a party is asked questions under oath. In the United States they call this depositions. You have to pay the lawyer to go. You have to pay to rent the space as this is done privately. You have to pay the reporter to produce the transcript.

If you see dollar signs flashing before your eyes you are correct - this is an expensive procedure and one that should only be used as a last resort.

The Trial

in Family Law

The applicant proceeds to call witnesses and evidence. The respondent replies. The Judge makes a final order. The final order can be appealed.

 

Overall Court Process

in Family Law

There can be multiple case conferences, motions and settlement conferences. There are sometimes urgent motions brought before case conferences.

 

There are other potential steps e.g. questioning where a party is asked questions under oath. In the United States they call this depositions. You have to pay the lawyer to go. You have to pay to rent the space as this is done privately. You have to pay the reporter to produce the transcript.

If you see dollar signs flashing before your eyes you are correct - this is an expensive procedure and one that should only be used as a last resort.