Early On Conference

In the beginning process of a Friend of the Court case, the parties are Ordered to meet with their Friend of the Court Caseworker to discuss Custody, Parenting Time and Child Support Matters.  The purpose of the meeting is to gather information from the parties and to identify what, if anything, the parties agree to regarding the children. If the parties agree on anything regarding Custody, Parenting Time, or Child Support, it could, by consent, be entered as a Temporary Order of the Court.  Generally, parents know their child(ren) and can decide what is in the best interest.  The Early on Conference facilitates communication and decision making by the parents.

If the parents cannot agree, your case will be scheduled before the Circuit Court Referee for a hearing and recommendation to establish a temporary order.

S.M.I.L.E. - Start Making It Livable for Everyone

It takes time, energy, and a plan to get your family through this process.  This program is also ordered by the Court. Start Making It Livable for Everyone is a video program for separating and/or divorcing parents with minor children. The video addresses creating a conflict-free zone by understanding the do's and don'ts of co-parenting, developmental issues, and positive communication when conflict exists. The program helps parents identify issues and how to resolve those issues keeping the best interests of your child(ren) in focus.


Mediation is generally favored by the Court.  Disputed matters are often referred to mediation, if appropriate, to facilitate decision making and communication between the parents.  If the parties are interested in Mediation, you should discuss this with your caseworker.