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Family Court

Early Case Management - What to Expect


The Family Court website provides information to families about court process and services available throughout the 5th Judicial District. Attorneys will find the site helpful in locating court forms and programs and in scheduling alternative dispute resolution.

Purpose of Early Case Management

Divorce and custody disputes are stressful for parents and children. Early case management is one way that judges can help divorcing families resolve their disputes more quickly.

Case Management

Parties first meet with a judge at the Initial Case Management Conference. The conference setting helps the judge, the attorneys and the parties discuss the case and begin working toward resolution. 

When: The Initial Case Management Conference is held within thirty (30) days of the case filing.

Before the Conference: The court sends both parties a Confidential Data Form. The information requested in the form helps the judge prepare for the conference by learning more about the parties and their children.   Please complete the Confidential Data Form and return it to the courthouse before the date scheduled for the conference. If you have not received one or need another copy, please click to download a Confidential Data Form. Fifth Judicial District courthouse locations list

At the Conference:

  •     Attendance at the Initial Case Management Conference is mandatory.
  •     You do not have to be represented by an attorney to attend a case management  
  •     However, If you are represented by an attorney, your attorney must also attend.
  •     All parties meet with the judge.
  •     The judge will discuss with you:  
                        - concerns of all parties;
                        - issues that have kept the parties from reaching an agreement;
                        - alternative dispute resolution options that may help the parties
                          reach an agreement. 
  •  At the conference the parties may be asked to chose one of these alternative dispute resolution options.

After the Conference:     
If you are ordered to Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), click on one of the links below to learn more, locate contact information for persons who provide ADR and scheduling options.  

In some instances the court order or the parties seek other services. Click the links below to learn more about: