Mandatory Settlement Conferences
Mandatory. All contested family law cases shall be set for settlement conference as set forth in the court’s Case Schedule Order (CSO) unless otherwise ordered by the Court. Upon filing a Notice to Set for Trial in Family Law Court, the parties in all cases involving the original petition for dissolution of marriage, legal separation, annulment, and dissolution of committed intimate relations, and for a parenting plan and/or residential schedule, shall participate in either a judicial settlement conference or a good faith mediation conducted by an independent, neutral, and trained mediator. This requirement is waived in cases where parties have reached agreement and final agreed orders have been entered.
To initiate the process, a Notice to Set Trial Family Law Court (this form is available on the Clerk's form page) must be filed with the Superior Court Clerk, including current contact information for all parties. A copy shall be provided to the opposing attorney, or party if not represented by an attorney, another copy to be served to the Superior Court Administration Office and the assigned Trial Judicial Officer.
If no objections to the Notice to Set Trial Family Law Court are filed within 14 days, Superior Court Administration will schedule the earliest available court date within 120 days of filing. (Objection to set for trial form available on Clerk's form page.)
Once a Settlement Conference date has be scheduled, a detailed notice of the hearing will be mailed to all parties through United States standard postal mail delivery.
Each party must complete the Pre-Trial Domestic Relations Settlement Conference Affidavit provided in this link. The original must be filed with the Superior Court Clerk and a copy served on the opposing attorney, or party if not represented by an attorney, no later than 4:00 pm one week prior to the scheduled conference. At the same time, a copy of the Affidavit, to be used by the judge or commissioner conducting the conference, must be submitted to the Superior Court Administration Office. Failure to file and serve the Affidavit one week prior to the conference shall subject the person failing to do so to an assessment of not less than $150.00, and up to $500.00. Failure to appear at the conference my subject the party or attorney to additional sanctions.
At the settlement conference, each party shall be prepared to address the unresolved issues and negotiate settlement of the case in good faith.
COURT ADMINISTRATION MUST BE NOTIFIED AT ONCE IF THIS MATTER IS DISPOSED OF PRIOR TO THE CONFERENCE DATE.