What is a case conference in family court?
A case conference in family law is often a first step in a family law court case in Ontario. The parties and their lawyers come to court and get input from a judge on their case. A case conference is not a trial and it is not a motion. It is more akin to a mediation, but with a judge, where the judge tries to help.
Because the case conference is often the first time you will see a judge, it is extremely important to be prepared and to provide a well-written , persuasive, and reasonable case conference brief. The first case conference is your chance to make a first impression with a judge.
In some courts, you are required to stand when you speak to the judge at a case conference, and at some courts you can remain seated. You should ask the court services officers or court clerks what is to be expected of you. For example, you should never interrupt a judge or talk over a judge. In court, only one person speaks at a time and comments are always directed towards the judge, and not to the other party.
Some judges are more formal at case conference and some are less formal. In general, the judge is trying to help you resolve the issues arising from your divorce or separation, and giving his or her opinion about who is being more reasonable.
Contact one of the divorce lawyers at Modern Family Law LLP at 647-DIVORCE or using our contact form to get legal assistance with preparing for a case conference.