Apart from settlement, a divorce trial is the only way that a court can make a final decision about your case. Settling a divorce case does not necessarily mean you and your ex-spouse have to agree on everything.
*Narrowing the contested issues*It is not uncommon that even though every effort has been made by both parties to try to get the whole case resolved, some issues, such as custody (legal, physical and visitation) cannot be resolved. Most judges appreciate the fact that the case in its entirety will not be litigated but some form of *narrowing the contested issues* have been sought by both sides.
It is expensive, both financially and emotionally, to go to trial in divorce cases.It is expensive, both financially and emotionally, to go to trial in divorce cases. Trial preparation, including preparing and attending mandatory settlement conferences, preparation of trial exhibits, preparation of witnesses, including expert witnesses, are costly and time consuming. But for many of my clients, having the burden *off their shoulder* and letting the judge decide after hearing and viewing all exhibits alleviate the pressure of making the *wrong* decision.
Unlike my criminal cases, which entails jury selection and presenting the case to a jury, divorce trials are not in front of a jury but a *bench trial**meaning in front of a judge. Both sides will call their respective witnesses, examine the witnesses, and provide to the judge their side of the *story.*
Issues commonly litigated in the custody arenaIssues commonly litigated in the custody arena are: who gets legal custody (deciding the education, medical, religious) path the child will take; physical (who will have the child primarily and the visitation accorded to the other parent. As for the financial issues, components are child support, spousal support, reimbursement, division of assets and liabilities, attorney fees.