Mandatory Settlement Conference: What is it?
About one month prior to your trial, you and your attorney are to attend what is known as the Mandatory Settlement Conference, or "MSC," along with your spouse and their attorney. At this conference you will be able to discuss all of the issues that make up your case and have the possibility to settle as many of them as possible. To give you a better idea of what to expect from this conference, here is a brief breakdown of what goes on at the Mandatory Settlement Conference:
- Before the MSC, both attorneys will prepare a Brief to be submitted to the court and distributed to your spouse containing the facts and argument that make up your case.
- At the MSC your attorney will "meet and confer" with opposing counsel so they can discuss the issues and work toward a resolution.
- Some judges will get involved in the settlement negotiations by holding "chamber conferences," but that might not be the case for you, since some judges don't bother.
- While many divorce cases settle at the MSC, those that don't will have the opportunity to settle as many issues as possible. For example, you may not agree on the division of all property, but you may agree on some.
Choose the Right Family Law Attorney
A well-trained and experienced attorney can be of great assistance at the Mandatory Settlement Conference. Actually, your choice of attorney might be the difference between settling quickly and favorably, or going through a drawn out and costly trial. Check out our tips on choosing the right attorney for your case and the right questions to ask your potential family law specialist.
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California Divorce Guide