The Divorce Process: The Case Management Conference
After the Complaint for Divorce has been filed by the Plaintiff, and a response has been filed by the Defendant (either by way of Answer and Counterclaim or Answer), the Court will schedule a court date known as the Case Management Conference. If your case is in Ocean County, the Notice of Case Management Conference is usually mailed out immediately after the Answer has been filed.
At the Case Management Conference, the parties discuss issues pertaining to discovery and the discovery schedule. Discovery is the process whereby each party exchanges information. The purpose of discovery is to allow the parties to fully disclose all information regarding the marital enterprise. It helps parties identify and value the parties’ assets, debts, and income; information necessary to determine equitable distribution and support. At the Case Management Conference, the litigants will set forth a discovery schedule in a Case Management Order. The Case Management Order will provide which experts are necessary for the divorce, who will pay for those experts, and when reports, evaluations, valuations, appraisals, and documentation are to be obtained and/or exchanged.
Many judges in the Ocean County Superior Court require that the litigants attend the Case Management Conference and meaningfully partake in the preparation of the Case Management Order. Additionally, it is at this time that the parties are typically ordered to attend parenting mediation and/or participate in Ocean County’s Custody Neutral Assessment. Parenting Mediation and the Custody Neutral Assessment are programs established to help parties resolve their differences concerning their children.
Overall, the Case Management Conference is a helpful court date because it allows parties to identify what issues, if any, remain unresolved in the divorce. It also places the parties on a path to concluding their divorce.
The intent of this article is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as providing legal advice. Each individual case is different and the outcome of your case depends upon its circumstances. Contact the author, Rachel S. Cotrino, Esquire, at 732-987-9966 for a free initial consultation to discuss your divorce matter.