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Mandatory Settlement Conference

What is a Mandatory Settlement Conference?

The purpose of  a Mandatory Settlement Conference (or “MSC”) is to encourage parties in a divorce, legal separation or nullity case to settle their matter in whole or in part. Accordingly, all parties must attend this court appearance.  The parties or their attorneys must also prepare a Mandatory Settlement Conference Statement stating their proposed resolution for each issue involved in the matter. The MSC statement must be exchanged with the opposing party and the settlement conference judge before the Settlement Conference.

From a timing standpoint, a Mandatory Settlement Conference occurs at a later stage of the case after the parties have had a case management conference,  all discovery has been completed, and the parties have exchanged their declarations of disclosure, including their income and expense declarations.

Such hearings are typically held at the courthouse. A local temporary judge who is experienced in the field of family law will preside over the matter.  The parties and their attorneys then meet and present the settlement judge, or “judge pro tem” with any issues which have not been resolved and attempt to settle these matters.

Mandatory Settlement Conferences are very important and the preparation for the hearing can be complex and time consuming. Having an experienced family law attorney will help prepare you to achieve the best possible outcome in your case. The attorneys at Wilkinson & Finkbeiner, LLP have participated in hundreds of settlement conferences. Please feel free to contact our office at (619) 284-4113 to set up your free consultation to speak with one of our experienced attorneys.