A settlement conference is an option for parties who want to negotiate a resolution and make their own decisions about their situation. Its purpose is to determine if the parties can reach agreements on the issues themselves with the help of a judge.
Participation in a settlement conference is voluntary, which means that both you and your spouse must agree to participate if you want a settlement conference to take place. It allows spouses to try and negotiate a settlement on some, or all, of the outstanding issues, and allows the spouses to make their own decisions about their situation. A settlement conference requires both of you to actively participate and to have a good faith intention to try to find a compromise that is acceptable. If both of you agree to try a settlement conference, the judge will tell you what you need to file before the settlement conference.
There is no cost for a settlement conference. However, if you agree to go to a settlement conference, but show up unprepared or unwilling to negotiate, there could be costs awarded against you. To ask for a settlement conference, you can:
Ask to go to a settlement conference during the Date Assignment Conference, or
Write a letter to the court asking to go to a settlement conference.
Click here for more information about settlement conferences, including a list of documents that must be filed with the court.