What Happens at a Trial Setting/Status Conference in Family Court?

Many things can happen in status conferences in family court proceedings. One kind of status conference is a conference held for the sake of setting the trial date or dates for a case that is ready for trial.

Generally speaking, the purpose of status conferences is to help ensure that cases proceed expeditiously and properly.

In the jurisdiction where I practice divorce and family law (Utah), courts and litigants can hold status conferences for many different reasons, many of which are identified in Utah Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 16(a):

  1. expediting the disposition of the action;
  2. establishing early and continuing control so that the case will not be protracted for lack of management;
  3. discouraging wasteful pretrial activities;
  4. improving the quality of the trial through more thorough preparation;
  5. facilitating mediation or other ADR processes for the settlement of the case;
  6. considering all matters as may aid in the disposition of the case;
  7. establishing the time to join other parties and to amend the pleadings;
  8. establishing the time to file motions;
  9. establishing the time to complete discovery;
  10. extending fact discovery;
  11. setting the date for pretrial and final pretrial conferences and trial;
  12. provisions providing for the preservation, disclosure or discovery of electronically stored information;
  13. considering any agreements the parties reach for asserting claims of privilege or of protection as trial-preparation material after production; and
  14. considering any other appropriate matters.

Other matters specific to divorce and family law proceedings that are often subject status conferences include:

  • monitoring and ensuring that the parties exchange their initial disclosures and financial declarations timely
  • monitoring and ensuring that the parties complete their divorce orientation and education courses timely
  • monitoring and ensuring that the parties schedule and hold mediation timely

Utah Family Law, LC | | 801-466-9277

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