What happens at an Initial Status Conference in a divorce or child custody case?
An Initial Status Conference is the first hearing that you will be set for in your divorce or child custody case in Colorado. It is your first opportunity to meet the judge or magistrate, and a chance for the Court to get an idea of how your case is likely to proceed.
After you file your Petition for Dissolution of Marriage (Divorce) or your Petition for Allocation of Parental Responsibilities (Child Custody) case with the Court, the Court will set you for an Initial Status Conference. Attorneys like to call this meeting an "ISC."
If you have a lawyer who filed your Petition, then it is likely that your ISC will be in front of a Judge or Magistrate. If you filed your Petition pro se, or without an attorney, then you will probably meet with a Family Court Facilitator (FCF) for your ISC.
The Initial Status Conference is a brief meeting. They usually last about fifteen or twenty minutes. However, you should plan to spend at least an hour at the Courthouse as Judges often set several of these hearings at the same time.
The Court will talk to both parties about the requirements for getting divorced in Colorado, or the requirements to finalize your child custody case. If there are property, maintenance, or child support issues, the Court will tell both parties that they need to complete full financial disclosures.
The Court will also set your case for deadlines to get you moving forward. In Arapahoe County or Douglas County, Colorado, you are likely to be given a deadline from the Court to complete mediation. In other counties, the Court may set you for a Temporary Orders Hearing, or a Permanent Orders Hearing while you are at the Initial Status Conference. The Court's goal is to help manage your case and get you through the process as quickly as possible. But, the Court, and the attorneys, know that each case is unique. That is why you meet with a Judge or the FCF to determine what is right for you.
If you have questions about what happens at an Initial Status Conference, or how divorce or child custody cases are managed in Colorado, give our office a call today.