One of the first Court appearances in the El Paso County, CO, Courts when a divorce or custody case is filed, is called the Initial Status Conference (“ISC”). The ISC is mandated by Rule 16.2 of the Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure and is supposed to take place within 40 days of filing the Petition with the Court. Rule 16.2 allows for domestic relations cases (divorce, custody, modifications of decrees, etc.) to be governed by rules and schedules that simplify the process and are less restrictive than other civil case rules. The ISC takes only a few minutes and is either held in front of a Family Court Facilitator or the Magistrate for your division. Your attorney should tell you where and when to appear for the ISC. All Parties and their attorneys must attend the ISC. If you are unable to attend, let your attorney know so they may make appropriate arrangements for you to appear by telephone.
The ISC is a scheduling conference–only. No other matters are resolved and no testimony or evidence is proffered by either Party. There will be no resolution to any outstanding issues between you and the other Party. The only thing that happens at an ISC is the setting of the schedule—the dates for how the litigation will proceed. Deadlines for completion and dates for certain matters will be provided to the Parties. The Parties will also have an opportunity to schedule a Temporary Orders Hearing, if they wish. (The decision of whether to set your case for a Temporary Orders Hearing should be made with your attorney. There are tactical as well as practical consequences of setting a case for a Temporary Orders Hearing.)
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