Learn How the Divorce Case Management Conference Works in New Jersey
Attorneys Supporting Clients in their Divorce Case Management Conferences in Ocean and Monmouth Counties
The process of divorce is initiated when one spouse files for divorce in the New Jersey county in which they live (or the county in which their spouse lives if they do not reside in the state). The person who files for divorce is the plaintiff in the proceedings; their spouse is the defendant. When the defendant receives a Summons and Complaint for Divorce, they have 35 days to respond. Within 90 days of receiving the response, a case management conference will be scheduled.
The process of divorce can feel complex and at times overwhelming. To combat this and help both spouses navigate the divorce process with clarity, the New Jersey Family Court holds a case management conference to lay the groundwork for the process. Read on to learn more about what a case management conference is, what to expect from it, and what it expects from you.
At Bronzino Law Firm, LLC, you can find the guidance and the answers to your questions son when you step into the room, you will know what to expect. We provide the option to sit down and go over the specifics of the hearing with a member of our team of family law attorneys. We have been working with clients in Rumson, Toms River, Sea Bright, Bay Head, Ocean Township, Sea Girt, and Holmdel and throughout Ocean and Monmouth Counties for many years, gaining the knowledge and experience you want on your side. Call (732) 812-3102 for support with your case for your divorce case management conference and beyond.
What is a New Jersey Case Management Conference for Divorce?
A case management conference is a court appearance in which the groundwork for the divorce process is set, and the process, expectations, and deadlines are laid out for the plaintiff and defendant. This conference is likely the first appearance in court that the divorcing couple faces regarding the dissolution of their legal partnership. It is an opportunity for them to meet the judge that will oversee their divorce. It is also the point at which the judge will determine whether the couple is in agreement regarding the issues surrounding divorce, and where there are still areas that are unresolved. Such divorce issues include equitable distribution of assets, spousal support, custody arrangements and parenting time agreements for shared children, and child support payments.
Rarely have divorcing couples come to an agreement regarding all of these elements at this early stage in the divorce unless they have undergone the settlement process before filing for divorce. Only if all issues regarding the dissolution of the marriage have been addressed will the judge grant a divorce at the case management conference. More likely, the judge will determine what issues still exist. In response, the judge will provide a set of next steps and requirements.
What Occurs in a NJ Divorce Case Management Conference?
As noted above, an initial case management conference is an opportunity for the judge to determine what issues need to be resolved regarding the divorce, and as such, layout a plan and timeline for requirements established to address those issues.
Potentially unresolved issues involve the division of marital assets, alimony payments, child custody, and child support payments. At a case management conference, the judge will gather information regarding the resolution status of each of them, and then provide follow-up steps and deadlines in the case the couple hasn’t yet come to an agreement on how to resolve them.
For example, one of the essential elements of a divorce is the discovery process. The elements of a discovery process serve to provide each party’s attorney – as well as the judge – with detailed information regarding income, debt, other finances, and even more personal information. Elements of the discovery include the Case Information Statement, Interrogatories, and, in some cases, a Notice to Produce (by which the judge requires that the couple, at their own expense, provide proof of the information submitted in the Case Information Statement).
At the case management conference, the judge will set the date by which elements of the discovery process such as Interrogatories must be served as well as responded to. This creates an outline of the divorce process, as well as action items and deadlines that help move the process forward.
Another example is a case in which the divorcing couple shares children. If they have not agreed on a custody arrangement and set up a parenting time agreement, the judge may assign a mediator to facilitate the process.
Do I Have to Attend My Initial Case Management Conference in Toms River NJ?
Both parties involved in a divorce are required to attend the initial case management conference. Though each party’s attorney speaks on their behalf to provide information to the judge about what divorce issues are resolved and what goes unresolved, the spouses must both attend.
The length of the case management conference varies, though, in order for the judge to get a good read on where the divorcing spouses are in agreement and where they are not yet resolved, the conference may take a couple of hours.
What is a Further Case Management Hearing in Freehold?
The ideal scenario is that, at the initial case management conference, the judge will assign all necessary action required – and the divorcing spouses will work collaboratively – for the couple to come to a settlement on outstanding issues regarding the divorce. In the case that further information or action is required that specifically involves the judge, it is possible that a further case management hearing will be required. In this case, a judge may determine outcomes on behalf of the spouses and involved children, in their best interest.
Contact a Skilled NJ Family Lawyer for Assistance with Your Divorce Case Management Conference
An experienced divorce attorney is an absolute necessity for all phases of your divorce proceeding, including the case management conference. Have you or your spouse filed for divorce, and you are in the initial stages? We are on your side and can support you through the entirety of the process.
At Bronzino Law Firm, LLC we are committed to providing support, clarity, and skillful representation such that our clients are delivered the best outcomes for themselves and their families in divorce.
If you have questions or doubts even before the whole divorce process starts, it’s highly recommended to have quality representation on your side. Get in touch with us to spend some time talking in a private consultation. If you need any assistance in the realm of family law whatsoever in Berkeley Township, Brick, Jackson, Beach Haven, and Point Pleasant and nearby places, complete our online form or call us immediately at (732) 812-3102 to schedule a consultation.