One of the first court appearances in a Family Law case is the Initial Status Conference (ISC). We tell our clients that the Initial Status Conference is an informal introduction to the Courthouse with a Judicial Magistrate or Family Court Facilitator. A Family Court Facilitator is not a Judge or Magistrate and cannot make orders in your case. At the ISC dates and deadlines will be issued for your case and a request for a temporary orders hearing can be made. According to the Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure, the ISC shall take place as soon as practicable but no later than 42 days from the filing of the petition.
Initial Status Conference Without An Attorney (Pro Se)
The Pro Se ISC held in El Paso County, Colorado is held as a group where both parties will attend the ISC. A Family Court Facilitator runs the Pro Se ISC. At the status conference, the facilitator will run a power point presentation that explains the processes and timelines of a domestic relations case. You cannot bring your children to the ISC, but the court does offer Court Care for children ages 6 weeks to 14 years old. At the end of the power point presentation, the Family Court Facilitator will call up the parties by case number and set temporary orders hearing if needed and tell the parties what documents are still needed to keep their case moving forward. At the Pro Se ISC, neither party will give testimony and no big issues in your case will decided. Lastly, the Judge assigned to your case will review your case 45 days from the Initial Status Conference.
Initial Status Conference With An Attorney (Represented)
In the Colorado Fourth Judicial District, if you have an attorney representing you in your case, the ISC will be typically be held with a Family Court Facilitator, except in certain cases where a Magistrate assigned to your case will hold the ISC. At the ISC, no testimony will be given by either party and if you have an attorney you will do very little talking. The Family Court Facilitator will ask whether the parties have filed their Sworn Financial Statements and if they have attended the Children and Family in Transition Class (if children are involved). If neither have been completed by the ISC, dates and deadlines will be given as to when they must be completed. Additional dates and deadlines will be issued related to appointment of experts and setting a date for a temporary orders hearing if requested. Big issues in your case will not be dealt with at the Initial Status Conference.
Stipulated Case Management Plan (Both Parties are Represented)
An option to attending the Initial Status Conference is to file a Stipulated Case Management Plan. The Stipulated Case Management Plan can only be filed if both parties are represented by attorneys. The document will list the dates and deadlines for your case as agreed upon by the parties and their attorneys. The Stipulated Case Management Plan can be a cost effective way to keep the case moving along as you do not need to wait for a specific date to go to the ISC. Plus, you would not have to pay for your attorney’s time to attend the Initial Status Conference.
If you have questions about the Initial Status Conference or a Stipulated Case Management Plan, contact the attorneys at Springs Law Group. At Springs Law Group LLC, we are here to help you with the planning and process of your case. You can also call us directly at 719.421.7141.