Early on in a divorce or
child custody case, often a party will request a Resolution Management Conference (RMC). In addition, the court may decide on its own initiative to schedule an RMC. Before the RMC, the parties must discuss any possible settlements (unless there is an Order of Protection in place) and be prepared to discuss those options at the conference.
Each party files a “Resolution Statement” with the court before the RMC is held. This gives the court a preview of what the issues are and the legal positions each party will take on the issues. The RMC procedure encourages early settlement by requiring the parties to take reasonable positions early on, without argument. The parties’ statements cover every remaining issue in the case, including custody, support, spousal maintenance, asset and debt division, attorneys’ fees, name changes, and any other additional issues that the parties have relevant to the family law case.
The purpose of the RMC is to settle issues before trial. The RMC also helps the court manage any unresolved custody and child support issues, evaluate the need for any requested Temporary Orders over matters of pre-trial custody and child support, and also to initiate referrals and services in preparation for trial. At the end of the conference, a case is either finalized with a Consent Decree avoiding trial, or scheduled for a trial or future event to decide the remaining issues in the case. If there is no settlement agreement on all the issues at the RMC, then the judge will automatically set the case for trial.
The conference is beneficial in many ways. If there are pending requests for Mediation or for an Alternative Dispute Resolution settlement conference, the RMC judge can expedite referrals to these services. Filing the parties’ Resolution Statements advises the judge of the contested issues and assists both parties in flushing out the major areas of their disagreements. If after the RMC no settlement is reached, then the court sets a trial date. With a firm trial scheduled, the parties are frequently more intent on settling issues between themselves, rather than leaving life-changing decisions to the judge.
The conference will take between one and two hours to complete (including the attorneys meeting beforehand), at which time any of the following may result:
Consent Decree: The case is fully resolved and finalized with a Consent Decree.
Partial Settlement and Trial: The parties reach a final partial agreement; a trial will still be scheduled to decide the remaining unresolved issues, but it will be shorter than it would have been otherwise.
Trial: The parties do not reach any agreement at all and a trial date is scheduled.
Temporary Orders: Requests for Temporary Orders are managed or issued.
If you are facing divorce, child custody, or child support issues in the Phoenix area, you need an experienced Phoenix divorce lawyer on your side. So
contact us today to schedule a free consultation.