Hi and thanks for your help. I have a Mandatory Settlement conference scheduled for Apr 22, 2013 - what exactly is this and what forms do I need to have ready? Also, I am currently receiving temporary spousal support - is this the time to ask for an order to make it permanent for a number of years? Thanks!
Family Law Attorney
You should bring documentation of anything that you hope will establish your position. Bills from the date of separation, bank account statements, pension statements and those sorts of things on the property issues. For support, bring current income information and current expense information. Go here: www.courts.ca.gov/forms.htm and click Family Law Dissolution etc and look for forms FL 142 and FL 150. Fill those out and bring supporting information. That will really help.
If you have a child custody issue, it helps to bring letters from friends, relatives, teachers, coaches etc., Also bring report cards, or other things that show what they kids are up to.
If you settle the case, you will probably recite it on the record. Spousal support will then be a "permanent" order.
Divorce / Separation Lawyer
Generally, settlement conferences are an opportunity for you and your spouse to try to work out all remaining issues in dispute. Unless specifically instructed by the court you don't need to bring any additional documentation. Permanent spousal maintenance will only be awarded with the final decree.
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Family Law Attorney
A Mandatory Settlement Conference (MSC) is a meeting that will be conducted by an experienced family law attorney to help you and your spouse resolve the issues in your case. Generally orders are not made at the Settlement Conference, but you should make your spouse and the Settlement Attorney aware of your intent to seek permanent support and attempt to settle that issue at the meeting. Each court has local rules as to the forms that may be required, and some court require you to prepare a brief that stats the issues to be discussed. You should bring with you the schedule of assets and debts , an Income and Expense Declaration, three current pay stubs, your last two years of pay stubs, statements from all debt that existed at the date of separation and any proof that you paid the debt after separation. It will also be helpful to have any real estate appraisals, and blue book values for vehicles. Remember to stay calm and be willing to compromise, if you want to settle your case.