There are a number of things that will happen after you file your Answer. You may have to file some additional papers, and the judge will schedule a hearing that both of you must attend. This page will explain the different things that might happen next in your case.
The Other Parent Might File a Reply to Your Counterclaim
If you filed an Answer with a Counterclaim, the other parent might file a “Reply to Counterclaim.” This is a document that lists what the other parent agrees and disagrees with from your counterclaim, much like your answer said what you agreed and disagreed with from the complaint. You do not need to respond to the Reply to Counterclaim.
Wait for a Court Date
The judge will set a court date in about 90 days. The hearing is called an "Early Case Evaluation," and is also sometimes called a “Case Management Conference.” You will receive a notice in the mail from the court with the hearing date included. Visit the Case Management Conference page for more information about this hearing.
You must have your Financial Disclosure Form filed within 30 days of when you filed your Answer. If you did not already file it, be sure to file it before the Case Management Conference. Remember to attach your three most recent paystubs to this form.
Ask for a Referral to the Family Mediation Center
Whenever parents cannot agree on custody or visitation for their children, the court requires the parents to attempt mediation. You can start this process yourself rather than waiting for a judge to order you to go to mediation. See Family Mediation Center for more information.
File Motions for Temporary Orders
You might have some issues you want the judge to sort out while the case is going on. This could include where the children should live, when each parent should have time with the children, whether either parent should pay temporary child support, etc.
A judge can issue temporary orders to guide the parties while the case is moving forward. Either parent can file a motion for temporary orders at any time before the final custody orders are granted. Please visit Motions for Temporary Orders for more information.