Most courts in Minnesota are following a model called Early Case Management. The motivating force behind the model is the Court’s belief that families are much better off, financially and emotionally, if they are able to resolve matters related to their children and their finances early in their case, by finding a way to move on before spending thousands of dollars on attorneys fees and contested court hearings. You can find more information about the Early Case Management process here.
Initial Case Management Conference – also known as ICMC – is the first step in the Early Case Management process. ICMC is your first court date in your divorce or custody case if you are in a county that has ICMC.
ICMC is not like a typical court date that you might be imagining. The parties (you and the other party) will exchange ICMC Data Sheets and the Judge will also review those data sheets. The purpose of the data sheet is to provide a “snapshot” of your case to the judge. You will have to provide information about your address, your employment, the ages of your children, whether anyone in your family receives public assistance, and a general picture of your assets and debts. The ICMC Data Sheets do not, however, become a part of your official court file. They are intended to allow your judge enough information to guide you to an appropriate program to settle your case.
The Judge will typically discuss how family court issues are resolved through the court system and through the Early Case Management system. The Judge may ask if there are any agreements between the parties. If there are issues that have been settled, the judge can make those agreements part of your court file.
The Judge will also want to know what issues are still unresolved in your case and how you and your spouse plan to resolve those issues.
One excellent method of resolving issues in a divorce is Early Neutral Evaluation (“ENE”). If you and your spouse have not agreed upon all issues to resolve your divorce, the Judge will likely suggest you participate in ENE. The ENE process will be discussed in an upcoming blog post.
Stacy Wright is a Minnesota Divorce Attorney, and can represent you in your divorce or custody case. Call (763) 244-1002 to schedule a consultation with Stacy.
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