Conferences & Hearings

Attending a Conference

Once a support complaint has been filed (i.e., the paperwork is completed and officially recorded), both parties will receive conference notices (an official order by the court to attend the conference), as well as various forms requiring information.

On the day of the conference, report to Domestic Relations at least 15 minutes before the scheduled time of your conference, bringing with you the information you were directed to bring (see below). When both parties have reported to the receptionist that they have arrived, your case will be heard. Depending upon individual circumstances, even if one party fails to appear, the case may proceed. The conference may last up to one hour.

What to Bring to the Conference

Both parties will be ordered to bring their previous year’s income tax returns and payroll stubs for the past six months. They should also bring items that will help the officer make the best decision, including:
  • Benefits booklets
  • Insurance policy numbers
  • Medical insurance cards

Self-employed people must bring business records and financial statements. People who receive unemployment or worker’s compensation disability or pension benefits must bring proof of the amount they receive.

You will have received in the mail, along with the court hearing notice, an income and expense statement (income is how much you earn and expense is how it is spent). This form must be filled out and brought with you to the conference.

Note: Please do not bring children to the conference unless paternity of the child needs to be established.

What Happens at the Conference

A Domestic Relations conference officer will guide you through the conference. The purpose of the conference is to give the parties an opportunity to decide what amount and what type of support will be paid.

The conference officer will use the income information which the parties and their employers have provided to determine the net (after taxes) income of each party. The amount of support each party may be required to pay is based mostly on both parties' net monthly incomes, how much each is capable of earning, and/or reasonable needs.