Parties who start an action in family court have a certain period of time within which to have their matter set down for trial. One year after the case was started, the court will send out a notice of approaching administrative dismissal to either yourself, if you are self represented, or your lawyer.
It’s not unusual, once there is an interim order, or an interim agreement, in place, to let things lie for a while. Parties will continue trying to negotiate or mediate the outstanding issues. If there’s an interim custody and access agreement, parties will want to ensure that the arrangement is workable before finalizing it.
All interim orders or agreements will expire following the dismissal of the case. In other words, interim orders ultimately need to be turned into final orders.
After the notice is served by the court, you have 60 days to get an extension of time, negotiate a final consent order, file a notice of withdrawl, schedule the case for trial, or arrange a case or settlement conference. When a lawyer receives a notice of approaching dismissal, they would generally endeavour to schedule a settlement conference as soon as possible in order to avoid the case being dismissed.
Once the case is dismissed for delay, the court will serve this notice on all parties. A notice of dismissal can be set aside on certain grounds, noteably if the motion to set it aside is brought forward right away, if there is a valid reason for the delay leading to the dismissal, and there is no prejudice to the other party