What you need to know if your case requires a case management conference.
In a Florida family law case, it is not uncommon for parties in the case to attend a case management conference. Fancy jargon aside, the case management conference is really just a way for the court to ensure the case is moving forward as needed. The good news about a case management conference is this means that the case is going to start moving forward and will begin to move more rapidly.
Speaking of quickly, expect the case management conference to be an “in and out” ordeal. Once you have the chance to meet with the judge, the conference will likely be over in a matter of minutes.
What kind of things are discussed in a case management conference? The Florida Rules of Civil Procedure dictate the topics to be discussed.
Case Management Conferences According to the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure
According to Rule 1.200(a) of the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure, the family law court or a party to the case may convene a case management conference by serving notice “at any time after responsive pleadings or motions are due.”
Issues that will be discussed during the conference must be specified in the court order or party’s notice that puts the conference into motion.
At a case management conference, know that judges are legally permitted to do plenty to facilitate the divorce proceedings. Some of the matters that may be discussed include:
- Ordering parties to enter into mediation within a given time period
- Setting or resetting hearings, trials and/or motions
- Ordering a delinquent party to turn over relevant documents
- Setting a schedule for when expert witnesses must be ready to offer their opinions and insight
- Appoint court experts such as a guardian ad litem
- And more
Taken as a whole, you can see that the overarching purpose of a case management conference is to make sure divorce proceeding go according to plan. Similar to a child custody case where courts are concerned with a child’s best interests, it could be said that case management conferences exist to keep the case on a track that moves toward the family’s best interests.
While you should not expect “big issues” like temporary alimony to be discussed at the conference, don’t be surprised if the conference is used to facilitate a settlement if your case is already coming along nicely. The exact tone and direction of the conference will depend on the specifics of your case, of course, but it is imperative to have a trusted Florida family law attorney by your side each step of the way.
If you have questions regarding your court case, or are unaware as to the terms and conditions in, talk to, and retain, a family law attorney who can help. Contact Damien McKinney of The McKinney Law Group to discuss your case further. He can be reached by phone at 813-428-3400 or by e-mail at [email protected]