An Intensive Settlement Conference is a meeting held at the courthouse. You, your attorney and your spouse and attorney will meet to discuss settlement of any disagreements or issues in the case. The attorneys will also meet with the judge assigned to your case at least once during the day to get guidance on the issues. The judge will not hear testimony from you or your spouse or make any formal decisions. The judge will merely offer his/her initial impressions of the case to the attorneys while they are meeting in chambers (the judge’s office). Most intensive settlement conferences require the attorneys and clients to stay at the courthouse negotiating for most, if not all, of the day. The New Jersey courts require at least one Intensive Settlement Conference before a trial can be held.
Ann O’Flanagan is an attorney who handles family law exclusively in Flanders, New Jersey.