What Is The Difference Between A Divorce Trial, Hearing And A Court Conference?

You are getting divorced or maybe thinking of getting divorced. You have been told that there is going to be a court conference, a hearing or a trial. What is the difference between these terms?

A court conference:  In a divorce, typically a court conference is where the Judge will meet with the attorneys to get an update or status of the divorce. There may be specific issues that will be discussed, or it may be a more general discussion. In most court conferences, the parties do not meet with the Judge. The Judge may issue orders for the parties to follow and there will either be another court conference scheduled or a hearing or a trial scheduled for the future. In most court conferences, it is rare for the Judge to hear testimonies.

There are several different types of conferences, namely:

  • Preliminary Conference: This is almost always the first conference with the Judge. At the Preliminary Conference (usually called a “PC”), the Court will set a discovery schedule and set other deadlines.
  • Status Conference: This is where the Court will get the status of what is going on in the divorce. There are usually more than one status conferences.
  • Compliance Conference: In a compliance conference, the Court wants to determine if the parties are in compliance with the Court’s orders or with the discovery schedule.
  • Pre-Trial Conference: A pre-trial conference is typically held about 1 to 2 months before a trial (although, it could be held only a few weeks before a trial). The Court will hear last minute issues and issue any orders to be followed for the trial.

A hearing: Usually a hearing is where a discrete issue is being decided. A hearing could be very short or take a full day. In rare occurrences, a hearing could occur over several days. For a hearing, testimony is almost always taken. Issues can run from the very mundane to extremely important ones (e.g. child custody or child support issues). At the end of a hearing, there usually will still need to be more court conferences and/or a trial (unless the case settles).

A trial: In a divorce, a trial will usually mean that several issues are being heard and decided. Testimony is almost always taken, and trials usually take at least a full day and can run for a week or longer. Typically, once a trial is over, the court will render a final decision, and there should not be a need for any further hearing or trials. Although, in some cases, the Court may need to hear more testimony or schedule a court conference.

If you need an experienced divorce attorney on Long Island, please contact David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office at 631-239-1702 or send us an email at david@dbnylaw.com. David Badanes, Esq. has represented clients in their court conferences, hearings, and trials. Mr. Badanes and the Badanes Law Office has the experience to guide you through your divorce.

The Badanes Law Office has offices in Northport, Garden City, Brooklyn, and Manhattan.

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