Florida Divorce: What is a pre-trial conference?
Before a divorce trial begins, Florida courts typically hold at least one pre-trial conference. A pre-trial conference is an important procedural matter. During it a judge will sometimes give some input on the case. The input can give both parties a valuable glimpse at what a judge might be thinking on certain pivotal issues. It is not uncommon for settlement to emerge at, or immediately following, a pre-trial conference. If you are considering divorce in Florida, or are already in the divorce process, you should speak to an experienced Orlando divorce attorney who can help protect your legal rights.
What Happens During a Divorce Pre-Trial Conference
A pre-trial conference is essentially a meeting between both sides of the case and the court. It will usually take place inside the judge’s chambers. The purpose of the pre-trial conference is to give the court some background about the facts, the issues, and the arguments of a case. A pre-trial conference will take place after discovery is complete and when the trial stage of the process is approaching. Logistical matters will be dealt with, such as scheduling the future hearings, but it will also be the first time the judge actually hears about the facts of your case. This means you need to make a good first impression. The judge may give some initial input on how certain matters might be decided, and may try to help facilitate a settlement. It is critical that you come into a pre-trial divorce conference prepared and represented by an experienced attorney. You must have your case in order so that you can handle any negotiation from a position of strength.
What If I Do Not Settle My Case?
Many cases do settle at, or soon after, a pre-trial conference. But, a settlement may not make sense in your individual situation. Remember, you always have the legal right to take your divorce case to a trial. A qualified divorce attorney can provide valuable guidance at this stage of the process. Your attorney will be a zealous advocate for your interests, whichever your option will choose, but will also have the experience to give you quality input on the prospects of a favorable outcome. Further, if you are considering agreeing to a settlement at a pre-trial conference, but you are not sure if the settlement is the right option for you, you can wait. You have the right to reach a divorce settlement all the way up to the date of the trial, so you will are not forced into a settlement that you have reservations about because the time is running out.
Contact An Experienced Orlando Divorce Attorney
At the Law Offices of Steve W. Marsee, P.A. we have extensive experience helping our clients through sensitive family law issues. Often, we can use negotiation to reach an amicable and desirable outcome. But, when settlement is not possible, we will aggressively advocate for your family law rights. If you any questions about pre-trial conferences, or Florida divorce in general, please call our office at (407) 521-7171 to learn more about your legal options.