A First Appearance is when the court requires you and your ex-partner (as well as other couples who have filed for divorce or parenting plans) to be in court. If you have filed for divorce or filed a parental rights case (formerly “custody case”), the court will order you and your ex-partner to participate in mediation when you go to your First Appearance. The judge will make decisions about how your case will go forward, and give you information about things you may need to do to obey the law. If you have children, at your First Appearance you will hear about the Child Impact Seminar you must attend, the Guardian Ad Litem (GAL) who may be assigned to your child, parenting plans, child support and mediation.
If you have a Final Protective Order against your ex-partner, the court will make sure that you are not scheduled to go to the same First Appearance as your ex-partner. Please note that anything you say or write in court will be made known to your ex-partner if he or she is not there, and it will also be kept on record with the court. You may ask the court not to disclose your address in any of the court papers that get sent to your ex-partner.
Our family law lawyers would be happy to help you if you have any divorce and family law needs. Please call one of the family law attorneys at Douglas, Leonard & Garvey at 1-800-240-1988 to assist you.