Not all issues require a hearing. Consent conferences can help the parties reach agreement on custody, visitation, paternity, or child support. This process gives the parent or caregiver the chance to help write the court order for the judge to sign.
All non-dissolution cases are screened to see if they are a good fit for a consent conference. A trained court professional will help the parties discuss the issues and try to reach agreement.
Working It Out
The goal of the consent conference is to reach an agreement on the issues filed in court. Each issue in the court case is discussed. If an agreement is reached on some or all of the issues, the court staff writes up an order. The order lists issues where the parties agree. If they still disagree on some things, the order will say that.
Both parties will sign the consent order. Then the judge will review and sign it. Once the judge signs the court order it becomes a binding agreement and enforceable. Copies of the signed court order are distributed to all parties.
What Comes Next
The issues not resolved in the consent conference can go through further mediation. They also could be handled at a court hearing. The judge also could decide to dismiss them.