Many cases never see a review hearing. As the name sounds, a review hearing is for the benefit of the Judge to see where the parties stand on the issues, what’s been resolved through ADR processes or direct negotiation, and what are the appropriate next steps for moving the case along in an orderly fashion.
Review hearings can be a useful way for the parties to retain flexibility with how they proceed. At the same time, they provide the Judge a way to make sure the parties are being nudged toward some outcome on the case.
Typically a Judge will not decide any new issues at the hearing unless there is a motion properly before the court or the parties agree to some change in what they’ve been doing.
Special Case: 6-Month Review Hearing
The review hearing typically occurs before the case has been decided and a divorce decree has been entered. There is a notable exception to this, the 6-month review hearing.
Two issues are proper for this review. Compliance with parenting time provisions of the order and whether child support is current.
In order to start the proceeding, either party only needs to submit a request for hearing form with the court. This needs to be done within six months of the entry of the decree or order.
The process is designed to make it easy for one side to get back into court if the other party is not complying with the order.