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What to Expect at the Initial Status Conference in Colorado Family Law Cases

Historically, divorces could take up to years to be resolved, leaving families in a state of limbo and conflict. Recognizing this extended length of time to resolve a divorce and/or custody matter did not serve the families’ best interests because there were no deadlines to comply with.  We like having an end goal especially when doing difficult things.  So, the purpose of the Initial Status Conference (ISC) is to establish a timeline for when things are due in your case so that the case keeps moving forward with the goal of little to no unnecessary delay. 


The Initial Status Conference (ISC) will address the following:

  1. Although the ISC is the first court appearance for your case, in El Paso County, it is typically done virtually and with a Family Court Facilitator (FCF). This makes the first court appearance a very low-stress situation. 

  2. The FCF will establish dates of when financial information is to be disclosed, when experts need to be disclosed, parenting class if applicable, when a temporary orders hearing needs to be requested, when mediation is to occur, and when a final orders hearing needs to be set. 

  3. After the ISC and if not already, the parties must complete their sworn financial statements, exchange financial disclosures, and complete the required parenting class if applicable.

  4. The temporary orders hearing can be set either at the ISC or later in the case by filing a notice to set. A Temporary Orders Hearing is a very short hearing (an hour total) that will essentially decide who is living where, driving what, paying what, parenting time, and support. 

  5. Mediation is required before going to a contested final orders hearing.  The parties are encouraged to try to resolve some if not all issues involved in the divorce and/or custody matter.  However, there is no pressure to reach a resolution; however, this does allow the parties to try to have some say in matters that they may not want to risk going to court over.  Other Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) methods are available such as mediation/arbitration or collaborative law that allow the parties to resolve matters outside of court. Consult a family law attorney to learn more about ADR.

  6. The final orders hearing will be scheduled, and this is where the final property distribution is done, permanent parenting plan, child support, and maintenance are established along with the term of maintenance, and this is where the Court will enter the decree of dissolution – when you are officially divorced. 

This is a very general overview of what the ISC will cover and what the major occurrences are in your case.  Each occurrence does have more detailed things to be done but you and your family law attorney will discuss those before each of the occurrences along with having a general idea of the goals you seek.


The Initial Status Conference may be short and sweet, but it does create a great overview of your case, and in each step, it is closer to reaching a resolution efficiently and effectively whether by court order or by agreement.  If you have any questions or need assistance with your family law matter in Colorado, don't hesitate to reach out. We're here to help you every step of the way.

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