A final trial will be the last step in your divorce case and is normally the last resort after attempts to mediate have been unsuccessful.
First, a date will have to be set for the final trial. Each judge schedules their domestic cases differently and the parties will need to contact the judge’s office for available dates. After the parties receive the available dates then they will have to find a date that works with both of their schedules. Normally, the date of the final trial will be scheduled months out due to the Court’s availability and to allow time for each party to gather evidence.
Once the date of your final trial is here, it is important to show up on time to Court. Domestic relation matters have the option to use to have a jury at their trial. The jury is allowed to decide on matters concerning equitable division, alimony, and child support. Matters concerning child custody and visitation will be left up to the judge’s determination. It is important for all parties involved to show respect to the judge and jury. Behavior
Opening statements are the first part of the trial. Before opening statements can begin, the jury must first be selected and any pre-trial motions will need to be dealt with as well. Each party will then have their turn to deliver their opening statement. The opening statement will outline the party’s position on the issues at hand. If the party has an attorney, the attorney will be the one to deliver the statement. If one or both of the parties are representing themselves, then the party has the opportunity to deliver their opening statement. The Plaintiff will be the first party to deliver the opening statement.
Once the opening statements are completed, the next phase of the trial will begin with witnesses. The Plaintiff will call their witnesses first. After the Plaintiff has finished calling their witnesses, the Defendant will have the opportunity to call their witnesses. When the witness is on the stand the attorney will ask the witness questions in a process called direct examination. The opposing attorney will then have the opportunity to cross-exam the witness. The point of cross-examination is to discredit the witness or poke holes in their testimony. During the questioning of the witnesses, each party has the opportunity to introduce evidence that helps explain their case.
To wrap on the trial each party will have the chance to address the Court one final time in their closing statements/closing arguments. Similar, to opening statements this is the chance for the party to try and persuade the Judge and Jury to rule in favor of their client. Unlike, opening statements the closing statements will refer to the witnesses and evidence that was presented in Court.
It is important to have an experienced Family Law attorney to help you through the process of your final trial. Give us a call toll-free at 866-527-2630 to set up a consultation.