California Family Law Attorney

CALIFORNIA FAMILY CODE

DISSOLUTION OF MARRIAGE AND LEGAL SEPARATION

CASE MANAGEMENT

Family Code Section 2451

(a) A court-ordered family centered case resolution plan must be in conformance with due process requirements and may include, but is not limited to, all of the following:
(1) Early neutral case evaluation.
(2) Alternative dispute resolution consistent with the requirements of subdivision (a) of Section 3181.
(3) Limitations on discovery, including temporary suspension pending exploration of settlement. There is a rebuttable presumption that an attorney who carries out discovery as provided in a family centered case resolution plan has fulfilled his or her duty of care to the client as to the existence of community property.
(4) Use of telephone conference calls to ascertain the status of the case, encourage cooperation, and assist counsel in reaching agreement. However, if the court is required to issue an order other than by stipulation, a hearing shall be held.
(5) If stipulated by the parties, modification or waiver of the requirements of procedural statutes.
(6) A requirement that any expert witness be selected by the parties jointly or be appointed by the court. However, if at any time the court determines that the issues for which experts are required cannot be settled under these conditions, the court shall permit each party to employ his or her own expert.
(7) Bifurcation of issues for trial.
(b) This section does not provide any additional authority to the court to appoint experts beyond that permitted under other provisions of law.
(c) The Judicial Council shall, by January 1, 2012, adopt a statewide rule of court to implement this section.
(d) The changes made to this section by the act adding this subdivision shall become operative on January 1, 2012.