In Dakota County (and many other counties in Minnesota), if you or your spouse have filed for divorce and opened a court file, but you have not yet reached agreement on all issues of your divorce, your first court date will likely be the Initial Case Management Conference (ICMC).
You might be wondering what will happen at the ICMC. For a lot of people, it is their first time ever actually going to court, so it feels scary. Luckily, ICMC is not scary. You (or your attorney) will need to fill out the ICMC Data Sheet ahead of time, and will need to bring it to your ICMC along with any required documents (tax returns, paystubs, etc.).
The main point of ICMC is to learn about different ways that your divorce can proceed. There are 2 different “tracks” by which your divorce can proceed: (1) the traditional litigation track; OR (2) the Early Neutral Evaluation (ENE) process.
Parties are strongly encouraged to participate in the ENE process. During the ENE process, the parties (and their lawyers) meet with an evaluator (or more than one evaluator) to resolve their financial and/or custody and parenting time issues. A large majority of cases settle during or as a result of ENE.
Choosing to participate in ENE instead of initially choosing the traditional litigation track tends to be more cost-effective as well.
Elizabeth Rosar Chermack is a Dakota County Family Law Attorney, and can represent you in your divorce or custody case. Call (952) 491-0390 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a consultation with her.
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