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Both parties, and counsel, if retained, will be required to be present unless otherwise excused by the Court. At the scheduling conference, the Magistrate will attempt to assist the parties in reaching an agreement on any contested matters. If an agreement can be reached, the Magistrate will place the agreement on the record and an Order will be prepared reflecting the agreement.
If it is a divorce matter and the necessary witnesses are present, brief testimony may be taken on the grounds for divorce and a report, recommendation, and proposed judgment of absolute divorce issued.
If it is clear that contested issues remain, the Magistrate will identify those issues and complete a scheduling Order see section 2. The Magistrate also will identify and recommend any preliminary Orders required in the matter.
Requests for these preliminary Orders shall be made at the scheduling conference. Preliminary Orders include the following: Rather, the case will be managed to facilitate settlement prior to, or at the time of, the pre-trial settlement conference.
Discovery schedules shall not exceed three months in standard family law cases, except in unusual circumstances or by agreement approved by the Court. The dates law practice business plan shall be firm dates and shall not be modified except by Order of the DCM Judge or designee.
The Magistrate or Judge at the scheduling conference shall establish deadlines for the filing of motions including discovery motions. Rulecomputer generated evidence per Md. If, however, it would be appropriate and would facilitate settlement of the case, the attorneys may request or the Magistrate may recommend, bifurcating custody issues.
In such an instance, the Magistrate may issue a second scheduling Order setting separate discovery deadlines, a pre-trial settlement conference and merits hearing on the custody issues only, to be concluded before the merits hearing on the divorce or any other issues.
There is no charge to the parties. Facilitators have no on-going involvement in the case. The Court or counsel will prepare any consent Orders resulting from a facilitated settlement. Pursuant to Title 17 of the Maryland Rules, facilitators shall not be entitled to any fee for services. To serve as a facilitator, individuals must be approved by the Administrative Judge and meet the criteria set forth in Md.
Parties will be ordered to attend the educational seminar prior to any scheduled mediation in their case. In the event that the Magistrate does not require the parties to attend the educational seminar, the Magistrate will indicate on the scheduling Order the reason s.
Counsel are requested to file any such preliminary motions, e. However, the Magistrate may prepare an appropriate Order even in the absence of such a request.
If one party requests a preliminary order and the other party objects, the Magistrate will hear brief argument on the issue and prepare an appropriate Order. This Seminar consists of two 2 three-hour sessions and is taught by a custody evaluator from the Custody Evaluation Unit. Parties will be ordered to attend and complete the Parenting Seminar prior to any scheduled mediation in the case.
In the event that the Magistrate does not require the parties to attend the Parenting Seminar, the Magistrate will indicate on the Scheduling Order the reason s. The Court may vacate the Order for custody and visitation mediation if a fully executed comprehensive agreement or consent Order is filed by the parties or counsel and approved by the Court within 15 days after the date of the scheduling conference.
Every family law case will be screened for allegations of physical or sexual abuse of a party or child along with other domestic violence issues. If a file review suggests that there is a history of allegations of physical or sexual abuse of a party or child or other domestic violence issues which might preclude the parties from participating in mediation, the parties will meet with a the Magistrate at their scheduling conference to determine the appropriateness of a referral to mediation.
Upon the request of either party or counsel, or based solely upon a recommendation by the Magistrate, the Court will provide the parties with immediate access to a private domestic violence screening conducted by the Court's domestic violence assessor.
The cost of property mediation will be divided between the parties. The cost for property mediation may not be waived by the Court. Parties will set up their own appointments with the property mediator, and will be ordered to complete the mediation by a date prior to their pre-trial settlement conference.
Parties shall be prepared to advise the Court as to whether this will be necessary, why it is necessary and who will be responsible for payment. The cost of any such appointment of counsel for minor child ren will ultimately be allocated by the Court between the parties.
The Court may appoint counsel for parents who are minors, if unrepresented. The Court may allocate payment among the parties.
Orders for custody evaluations may be limited in scope.Tarrant County Family Law Bar Association The Tarrant County Family Law Bar Association is a voluntary association of lawyers, Judges, Associate Judges, legal assistants, court coordinators and other professionals who strive to improve the practice of family law, which includes divorce, child custody, visitation, child support, modification, paternity, enforcement, contempt, pre-marital.
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