The Divorce Settlement Conference and Its Purpose

Divorce can cause a lot of emotional distress. The couple may fail to resolve their issues amicably due to their emotional and psychological state in addition to the resentment they feel towards each other. Settlement conferences are held for this and other important reasons.

Mandatory Settlement Conference
Your state laws may require you to attend a settlement conference once you’ve decided you want a divorce. Both you and your spouse will be required to complete financial disclosures before the date is set.

The judge will establish whether the couple has tried to resolve their issues and failed. The couple will be required to present some of the divorce related issues as well as any relevant documents. The judge then set a date for the divorce trial.

Voluntary Settlement Conference
Couples can also request a voluntary settlement conference. Here they can present their issues to a judge or an attorney and the settlement is often conducted in a courthouse. Specialized legal professionals also known as commissioners, or masters may also conduct these discussions.
A couple who have been requested to attend a mandatory settlement conference can also call a voluntary settlement conference. The couple can choose to call for this conference in order to prepare for the other conferences and the final trial.

Importance of Settlement Meetings
Even if your state does not require you to attend a settlement conference it is wise to arrange for a settlement meeting before trial. Extended divorce proceedings can cause a lot of emotional distress to the couple as well as their children and dependents. If a settlement meeting can help resolve these issues, it will be beneficial to everyone involved.

You also need to think of the costs. Divorce proceedings can end up accumulating a lot of expenses. You may be required to hire a property appraiser to determine the value of your home; You’ll also avoid accumulating additional attorney fees.

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