In many Florida divorce cases a party will have to attend a case management conference. A case management conference can be requested by the judge or it can be procedural and scheduled at the time a divorce is filed. Typically the conference is held 60 to 90 days after the divorce is filed and is a measure for the court to ensure the case is properly moving forward.
A family law case management conference is not an adversarial hearing and it is not a forum for the parties' divorce attorneys to advocate their position. Rather, the conference is an opportunity for the court to ensure that the case is progressing and that both parties have complied with the procedural requirements. The procedural requirements include the parties exchanging the necessary discovery, complying with the court's orders, and often times scheduling mediation.
In the event the parties to a divorce have not complied with their procedural obligations, the judge will issue an order directing each party to comply with their outstanding obligations within a certain timeframe. Additionally, during the case management conference the judge will inquire as to the issues of the divorce. Each party will have an opportunity to address the court and advise the judge of the case issues, which may include the division of equitable distribution, child custody, child support, and alimony. At the conclusion of the case management conference the court will issue an order for the case to move forward by either ordering another case management conference, ordering the parties to go to mediation, or scheduling the case for trial.
It is important for each party and their Tampa family law attorney to be prepared for the case management conference in order to present the status of the case and ensure the procedural requirements have been met. One suggestion for a successful outcome is to hold a pre-conference meeting with your divorce attorney and become informed on what to expect at the case management conference.