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Help! I Have a Hearing Coming Up, How Do I Prepare?

Kim Gent

WORD OF DISCLAIMER: This blog is not intended to replace the importance of getting legal advice about your case from an attorney. Rather, this blog is to give you general instruction about what is expected at a Permanent Orders Hearing (trial) and how to prepare. Although you may have other hearings prior to a Permanent Orders Hearing, this blog focuses on the final hearing in your case. For specific instruction about your case and preparing for a hearing you should contact an attorney, or work with our LawYourWay program.

Preparing for a hearing can be one of the scariest and some say most difficult parts about representing yourself in your family law matter. Over the course of the next few blogs, I will be covering topics that are designed to outline some important information in preparing for an upcoming Permanent Orders Hearing. These topics will include issues such as:

  • Who should I call as witnesses?
  • What should I use as exhibits?
  • What is a Joint Trial Management Certificate?
  • What is a trial notebook?
  • How do I effectively argue my case?
  • What is hearsay?
  • What should I expect at my upcoming hearing?
  • What should I do if I don’t understand or agree with the Judge’s decision?

In preparing for a hearing, you must be aware of the deadlines for which the Court expects you to comply. Each Court has different case procedures and therefore different case deadlines. The Case Management Order is the document that outlines the deadlines that the Judge in your case has set, including citing some Rules to follow. The Case Management Order is often one of the first documents that the Court sends to you. You should read this carefully and make sure you are aware of all requirements and to not miss any of the deadlines.

Additionally, the Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure and / or Statutes sets forth the deadlines below. Yet,be aware that the Case Management Order or any other Order issued by the Judge in your case supersedes the statutory deadlines, so it is very important to review and follow any Order.

Deadline

Time Frame

Response to Petition for Dissolution of Marriage

21 days (3 weeks) after date of service

Rule 16.2 Mandatory Financial Disclosures Due

42 days (6 weeks) after date of service unless otherwise specified in the Case Management Order

Deadline for Initial Status Conference

42 days (6 weeks) from filing Petition (different)

Deadline for Witness Disclosures

63 days (9 weeks) prior to Permanent Orders Hearing

Deadline to Serve Formal Discovery

63 days (9 weeks) prior to Permanent Orders Hearing

Deadline to Provide Expert Reports

56 days (8 weeks) prior to Permanent Orders Hearing

Response time to Motions is shortened to 14 days

42 days(6 weeks) prior to Permanent Orders Hearing

Deadline for Parties to Complete Discovery

28 days (4 weeks) prior to Permanent Orders Hearing

Deadline to Serve Subpoena to Attend and Produce (Subpoena Duces Tecum)

14 days(2 weeks) prior to Permanent Orders Hearing

Deadline to File Joint Trial Management Certificate

7 days (1 week) prior to Permanent Orders Hearing

Deadline to Exchange Copies of Marked Exhibits

7 days (1 week) prior to Permanent Orders Hearing

Deadline to Serve Subpoena to Attend

2 days (48 hours) prior to Permanent Orders Hearing

Tip: When calculating dates remember the deadline will fall on the same day of the week as the triggering event; simply use a calendar and count downward or upward the number of weeks applicable.

In my upcoming blogs, I will provide information about each of the above-referenced pre-hearing deadlines and include information on how to prepare for a Permanent Orders Hearing. If you have any questions or need advice regarding how to prepare for a hearing, or any other family law issues, please do not hesitate to consult with an attorney or a representative in our LawYourWay program.

Our LawYourWay program allows you to continue to represent yourself without retaining an attorney, and we offer services and advice for you on an hourly paid basis when you may need it along the way of handling your matter.

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