Denver Real Estate Law and Family Law Blog. (Vol 1.25)
By Craig Franklin Chambers Esq. 7851 S. Elati Street #204, Littleton, CO 80120
The Littleton Lawyer.
As a Colorado family law attorney and real estate lawyer, focusing my law practice in Denver, Littleton, Centennial, Highlands Ranch, and South Jeffco (including Columbine, Chatfield, and Ken Caryl areas) I help a lot of people through the difficult time of their divorce.
If the case is settles amicably, a divorce (or an allocation of parental responsibilities proceeding) is a relatively inexpensive proceeding. After fully exchanging their financial information, the parties file a Separation Agreement, Affidavit of Non-Appearance, and a Decree and wait the statutory 90 day waiting period for the divorce to be finalized.
If the case does not settle, the proceeding becomes much more complicated and expensive. The parties must prepare for and attend a hearing. The hearing is usually several months down the road and only after the parties have attended mediation.
The hearing is your opportunity to present your evidence, call your witnesses and convince the judge as to issues such as child visitation, parenting time, allocation of parental responsibilities, spousal maintenance (also called alimony), child support and equitable division of property.
A Joint Trial Management Certificate is required by C.R.C.P. 16.2 and usually by the court's own Case Management Order. The TMC is a document to be filed usually no later than 7 days prior to the hearing. The document is basically a "map" of the hearing.
In it you briefly explain the history and facts of the case, what you are seeking at hearing and why, what legal authority you are basing your request on, what motions are pending, and what witnesses you will call and what exhibits you will attempt to introduce at hearing. This document is supposed to be a joint document. Each party sets forth his or her information in the same document so the judge can see both parties positions side by side.
The Trial Management Certificate is important to the judge. With all the motions in the court file, and given the busy court docket, it is the most current overview of the case, and it is likely the only document the judge will read prior to the hearing. Some judges even treat it as an opening argument, and so it is important that the document be as thorough and persuasive as possible.
This "map" is also important because it forces you to begin to get ready for the hearing a week before the hearing is scheduled. It also gives you one last opportunity to determine if you and the other party can come to agreement on any outstanding issues.
It also forces you to arrive at your final position for hearing because with rare exception the disclosures made at in the Joint Trial Management Certificate cannot be altered. By filing the TMC, you are representing to the Court the positions you intend to argue at the hearing.