A judge schedules a trial management conference when they think you and your partner can’t resolve your issues and your case has to go to trial.
The goal of a trial management conference is to get you and your partner ready for your trial and to try one last time to settle the case.
Rule 17: Conferences tells you what you need to do to prepare for your trial management conference and what happens at one.
Your partner has to serve you with their following documents at least 6 days before your trial management conference:
If your case is at the Ontario Court of Justice, these are:
If your case is at the Superior Court of Justice, these are:
- Form 17: Conference Notice
- Trial Scheduling Endorsement Form
- an Offer to Settle
- a draft of their opening statement
And if your partner’s financial statement is more than 30 days old at the time of your conference, you will also be served with one of the following documents:
- Form 13: Financial Statement or Form: 13.1: Financial Statement, if there have been major changes to their financial situation
- Form 14A: Affidavit, if there is no change or only minor changes to the last financial statement they filed. Your partner has to include details of these changes on the form
Fill out your forms
In the Ontario Court of Justice, you fill out Form 17E: Trial Management Conference Brief. This form asks for some of the same information as the earlier briefs you filled out for your case conference and settlement conference.
In the Superior Court of Justice and the Family Court of the Superior Court of Justice, you must file:
- a complete Trial Scheduling Endorsement Form
- an Offer to Settle
- a draft of your opening statement that you will present at trial
In both the trial management conference brief and the trial scheduling endorsement form, you have to tell the judge:
- who you plan to call as witnesses
- what issues your witnesses will speak about
- how long you think each witness will take
You also have to answer some procedural questions like:
- do you and your partner agree on the facts of your case
- have you and your partner shared all relevant documents
And you have to give the court updated financial statements. See Update your financial statements below to find out what you have to do.
Make copies of your completed documents for you and your partner.
Serve and file your forms
You must serve your partner with a copy of your documents at least 4 days before the date of your trial management conference. You serve them by regular service or special service. Serve your documents below explains how to do this.
See Count time below to understand how to calculate days or time correctly. This is important because court staff may not accept your documents if you haven’t followed the rules.
You need to go back to court once your partner has been served, to file your documents and Form 6B: Affidavit of Service, in your continuing record. You must do this at least 4 days before the conference date. Update your continuing record below explains how to add documents to your court file.
Confirm your court date
You have to tell the court that you will be at your trial management conference. Confirm your court date below explains how to do this.
If you or any of your witnesses need an interpreter or any special arrangement because of a disability, see Ask for a special arrangement below.