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Your First Day in Divorce Court

One of the most common themes we see repeated with our clients is an overall fear or anxiety surrounding divorce, specifically with the court system and the judicial process. But fear not! Here at MFL, we are highly familiar with the courts, and we know that there is nothing to worry about. So to help ease your mind, we have created a quick guide about what you can expect from your first day in court.  This article will discuss the Initial Status Conference, or ISC.

Initial Status Conference

Typically, the first time you appear for the court will be for an “Initial Status Conference.” The name is pretty descriptive, as this is the first time you will have an opportunity to discuss your case. At the initial status conference, or “ISC,” there are a few significant things that will take place. While some cases are different, you can generally count on a few things, which are covered below.

Where Does the ISC Take Place?

You can expect that for your initial status conference, you will either appear before a magistrate or a family court facilitator. Since most everyone has some idea about judges or magistrates, we’ll talk about the family court facilitator. The purpose of the family court facilitator is to do as the title sounds — to facilitate the process for family court.

What Takes Place During an ISC?

Whether you meet with a family court facilitator or appear before a judge, you generally will cover a few major topics. While this is not necessarily an exhaustive list, you will be asked to briefly discuss your side of the case, as well as what your concerns are. Whether you believe negotiation/settlement will be likely or whether any pressing matters would require a temporary orders hearing. How much time you will need to submit your financial disclosures is set at various dates and deadlines. Any other significant considerations that you believe would be important for the court to know.

How Long Does the Process Take?

Generally, an initial status conference is a pretty brief encounter. You can presume that once you have been called to meet with the family court facilitator or appear before the magistrate, you will quickly be out the door. Usually, the ISC is a pretty painless process, and sometimes it can help you and your soon-to-be-ex understand one another better.

The Initial Status Conference is the first major step in many domestic relations cases. While we understand that the judicial process may seem scary at first, we assure you that there’s nothing to be too scared about. Keep in mind that judges, magistrates, and family court facilitators are all people doing a job. They aren’t there to make your life miserable; they want to help manage the process of a difficult and emotionally charged situation. Thanks for joining us for another quick set of tips from your friends here at Modern Family Law. And as always, if you feel that you may need the assistance of legal counsel, do yourself a favor and get in touch with one of our attorneys for a free consultation today.

Posted December 07, 2016
by: MFL Team

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