What is Divorce Pathways to Resolution?
Read on to learn more.
Pathways to Resolution Basics
Essentially, Divorce Pathways to Resolution replaces the old short calendar system with a triage approach run by Family Services via the Resolution Plan Date.
What Is Short Calendar?
Short Calendar was a mechanism for pending motions to be heard by the court. Motions appeared on the short calendar within approximately 2 to 3 weeks. There was only time at short calendar for the court to hear very brief (or “short”) matters. When a matter was expected to take more time, often the judge would request a “date certain” for a longer on the motion. Short calendar also provided an opportunity for the parties to meet with Family Relations.
How Does Triage Work at the Resolution Plan Date?
Unlike Short Calendar under the old system, the Resolution Plan Date is not a hearing in front of a judge. It’s a meeting with Family Relations where they triage your case to evaluate the possibility of an amicable resolution and recommend to the court the level of court services your case is likely to need.
The court services that the Family Relations counselor recommends can either be (1) ADR services from Family Relations or (2) traditional court functions such as hearings with a judge. Based on Family Services’ RPD recommendation, the court will place your case on the track that contains the relevant services. Additionally, the Court enters a Scheduling Order that sets out the important events for the rest of the case.
The Scheduling Order may include one or more Case Dates, a date for a Pretrial Conference, and trial dates. Just because multiple court dates are scheduled doesn’t mean that they will all happen. If you reach an out-of-court resolution, you can finalize your divorce earlier. It’s also important to note that the dates on the scheduling order may change.
Short Calendar vs. Pathways to Resolution
Short Calendar allowed parties to get into court closer to when a motion was filed. Under Pathways to Resolution, the Court seeks to consolidate multiple motions into one Case Date if possible. Generally speaking, there is more time available to hear motions at a Case Dates than there was at Short Calendar. That said, there is often less time to hear motions at a Case Date than there was at a hearing on a date certain under the Short Calendar system.
Under both Short Calendar and Pathways to Resolution Case Dates, there is an opportunity to meet with Family Services to attempt to reach a resolution prior to a hearing.
Read: ADR & Divorce