Initial Case Management Conferences - your first court appearance.

If you're getting divorced in the Twin Cities metro area, the very first piece of paper you likely got from the courthouse was notice of which judge your case was assigned to, along with a court date for your Initial Case Management Conference, or ICMC as we say in the biz.  Before you freak out about having to go to court, worrying about objections and evidence and gavel smacking judges, let's take a minute to go over what actually happens at an ICMC.

In most counties, the ICMC is actually "off the record", meaning that there is no court reporter keeping a transcript of what is going on.  Many judges don't wear their robes, and some even come and sit at the tables with parties and their attorneys.  Of course, some are more formal than this, but the idea is that this isn't the kind of hearing where impassioned arguments happen and life altering decisions are made.  Instead, the ICMC is more about a chance for the parties to meet their judge and vice-versa, as well as to figure out how to best move the case forward scheduling and procedural wise. 

Of course, this doesn't mean that the hearing isn't important, quite the opposite.  It does mean that it's typically low stress and only ten or fifteen minutes long.  The hearing is important though, because you have to decide what form of Alternative Dispute Resolution you are going to use, whether you need a temporary motion hearing, and what providers you're going to use - all things which can have a huge impact on your case in the long run.  Its pretty important to have an attorney with you who has been through all this before and knows the players and the game involved.  For more information or to set up a free consult, give us a call or email and we'll walk you through what to expect through the ICMC and beyond for your divorce.

Zach Smith