Articles from The Mediator

New Divorce Court Procedures

The Connecticut Judicial Branch is changing how it manages family cases. Through early intervention, the Branch hopes to (1) cut the number of court appearances per case, and (2) help parties resolve issues faster and more comprehensively. They call is “Pathways.”

Under Pathways, when a case is first filed it is assigned a Resolution Plan Date (RPD). On the RPD, court personnel will work with parties and attorneys to identify (a) areas of agreement, (b) the likelihood of agreement on remaining issues, and (c) further court interventions.

The case is then placed onto one of three ‘tracks’, based on how much future court intervention is expected. Then a judge sets a schedule for the case, which can include ‘Case Dates,’ settlement conferences, and, failing all else, trial.

On Case Dates, the court will take up issues that need attention before final resolution. It seems to me that this is to allow the court to manage cases (and its calendar) proactively by reducing the motions filed during cases. Some attorneys have told me that they don’t completely agree with this approach.

The Judicial Branch’s expectation is that this process will speed up family cases. Family cases can be thorny. So time will tell.

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