Family Law: Pretrial Conference in King County, Washington, Divorce

In King County Washington, the clerks monitors cases with a Case Schedule to make sure that the parties and their lawyers are ready for trial. The trial judge will typically schedule a Pretrial Conference about a month before the scheduled trial date. The purpose of this conference is to inform the court of the issues and to make sure everyone is ready for trial on the trial date.

If there are attorneys involved, the attorneys will handle the pretrial conference (typically by telephone) and the clients do not need to appear. If you do not have an attorney, you will need to appear in court.

The judge will ask questions about the case, and then write our an Order From Pretrial Conference. The judge will indicate the estimate of number of days the trial will last and the issues that will be addressed (parenting plan, child support, maintenance, property division, etc.). The court will indicate if anyone has any conflicts with the scheduled trial date, whether the parents have attended the “What About the Children” seminar, whether the parties have attended alternative dispute resolution, and whether there is a parenting evaluation. The court will then order dates by which the parties exchange exhibit and witness lists, create joint statement of evidence, trial binders, pretrial motions, briefs, and proposed final documents. The court can then address any special arrangements that need to be made.

The Pretrial Conference helps the parties, attorneys and judge to be ready so that the trial can go as smoothly as possible.