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Surviving Your Mandatory Settlement Conference

Posted on in Divorce

California divorce attorney, California divorce lawsYour life is on the verge of significant change. You and the person who you have spent the last chapter of your life with are going your separate ways, bringing on a multitude of emotions. Excitement, anger, grief and happiness are all expected throughout the divorce process. Anxiety from the unknown will also keep many people up at night, especially leading up to the mandatory settlement conference.

What Is a Mandatory Settlement Conference?

A Mandatory Settlement Conference (MSC) is a judge-ordered meeting to try to reach an agreement between two opposing sides. It is not required of every divorce, as default cases and those that can come to an agreement will not find any use in an MSC. This session is for divorcing couples who are unable to agree on divorce terms and have not found full relief in alternative methods, such as mediation. Along with their attorneys, both parties will meet in one session, or multiple sessions, if needed, to reach an agreement on complex matters. A “pro tem” or temporary judge will oversee the discussion and will attempt to help the couple reach a final agreement. If MSC does not resolve the controversy, then a trial will commence the following week, and the judge will decide the terms of everything left undecided.

There are many reasons why going to trial should be avoided, if possible, including:

  • Reducing expenses, and
  • Maintaining control over the final arrangements.

How to Prepare

A general rule of thumb with divorce proceedings is to keep your emotions as far aside as possible. Emotions are real and valid, and you should be allowed to have them, but in a settlement meeting, emotions will only serve to make the experience harder. A few actions that will be useful during the meeting are:

  • Be open to compromise,
  • Ask all questions you have,
  • Take a break to recuperate your thoughts,
  • Ask for more time if you need it, and
  • Maintain open communication.

While questions have been answered today alleviating some stress, some may still be left unanswered. Contacting qualified legal counsel can reduce the stress by not only having someone on your side who understands but also having all of your case-specific questions answered. If you are interested in preparing for your mandatory settlement conference with an accomplished Santa Clara County, CA divorce attorney, contact Ventresca Law Firm today. With more than 35 years of experience assisting local clients just like you, Attorney Benita Ventresca can offer options to ease your legal stressor. Call today at 408-395-8822 for your free initial consultation.

 

Sources:

http://www.scscourt.org/self_help/family/divorce.shtml

http://www.scscourt.org/self_help/civil/lawsuits/settlement_conf.shtml

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