Divorce is a legal procedure that entails numerous steps. Regardless of the complexity of a couple’s circumstances, an initial status conference (ISC) is a required process 40 days after a filed petition.
An ISC is a brief meeting that provides both parties with an opportunity to inform the court of their issues for the first time, review the status of their submitted forms and learn about the next steps. Depending on the county, the process may involve a family court facilitator, judge or magistrate.
Knowing what happens during a Colorado ISC can help divorcing spouses better prepare for the necessary paperwork and other potential concerns.
What to expect during an ISC
Before attending an ISC, the petitioning and responding parties must have accomplished their sworn financial statements, financial disclosures and other supporting documents. The court sets a deadline if either party fails to finish these items.
The ISC discussion will mostly be about unresolved issues. However, unlike a formal hearing, testimonies and proof are not necessary. Temporary order requests, whether on child custody, visitation, alimony or property division, are also possible if the situation calls for immediate relief.
Moving forward, the family court facilitator, judge or magistrate will arrange schedules for hearings, parenting classes and mediation. They may also set deadlines for the submission of expert witnesses that can validate each party’s claims.
Why an ISC is crucial
An ISC sets the stage for the entire divorce proceeding. Its purpose is to ensure that everyone involved is on the same page. It is critical for both parties to appear for an ISC to know what obligations they must fulfill, where they stand and where the case is going. Doing so can save their time, money and emotional well-being. While divorcing couples can attend an ISC without legal counsel, professional guidance may prove invaluable for disputed scenarios.