Throughout your case, the judge will probably schedule you for an occasional status conference. This is a meeting in the courtroom where the judge asks you and the other party about the "status" of your case.
The judge mostly wants to know if you are going to have an agreement or if you will need a Hearing. Hearings are tough for the court to schedule, so the judge will probably encourage you to come up with an agreement instead.
How long does a Status Conference take?
After 2020, (Covid restrictions), most hearings were done by remote web connection. The Vermont courts use a program called Webex which is basically like Zoom. Most status conferences are still scheduled this way. Hopefully, the courts will keep doing this - it's very convenient.
If you are in person at the courthouse, you will wait in the courtroom for a lot longer than the Status Conference takes. The conference might take five or ten minutes. If the court is busy, there could be many cases ahead of you on the schedule.
There may be a lot of other people there at the same time for their status conferences. Wait in the back of the courtroom until the judge calls your name, then walk forward and sit in the chairs at the desks at the front of the courtroom. There will probably be a uniformed officer there to show you where to go.
What happens after the Status Conference?
Usually, the judge will either set the case for a Temporary or Final Hearing or another Status Conference. Another conference might be useful if it looks like you are close to an agreement, but not quite there yet.
TIP: If you have an attorney, you might not even have to attend a Status Conference. Check with your lawyer.
TIP: It is often a good idea to ask the judge to schedule the case for a Hearing, even if you are still working on an agreement. Some courts take a long time to set a date for a hearing. Sometimes, it's a good idea just to give yourself - and the other party - a deadline to work out an agreement.