A family law trial is a court proceeding and typically this most challenging of all of the parts of the process for the client and the attorney. Prior to going to trial, in most jurisdictions in Florida you have to go to mediation. Generally, financial mediation of alimony, equitable distribution or other financial issues is a private mediation with a private mediator; with each side paying half of the mediation fee. Your lawyer is present at the family financial mediation. If not solved at trial, then you begin preparation for trial.
Before trial, there will probably be several pretrial conferences and motions before the judge, exchange and review of discovery, perhaps depositions, hiring of experts if appropriate, and a pre-trial order in many instances.
At Barbra Amron Weisberg, P.A., our knowledge and skill in divorce litigation adds an extra feature to our Boca Raton client service. Although we might not need to take your case to court, our ability to do so from a position of strength can definitely influence the direction and outcome of our negotiations on any disputed issue. Our practical, fully-informed advice and formidable trial skills can benefit our clients with respect to all parts of the divorce process. To learn how our focus on your immediate and longer term interests can benefit you in a family law matter of any complexity, contact Barbra Amron Weisberg, P.A. in Boca Raton.
Generally, a trial may start with an opening statement by the lawyers. These opening statements provide a roadmap of the case for the judge. DO NOT EXPECT THE TRIAL TO BE LIKE A TELEVISION TRIAL. Witnesses are called to the witness stand and documents are received by the court as evidence. A witness is either sworn or affirmed before they take the witness stand. The witness then testifies based upon questions asked by the plaintiff’s attorney, the defendant’s attorney, and occasionally by the trial judge. Documents may also be presented, but there are foundations that must be completed before a judge before the judge can look at a document (commonly referred to as an “exhibit”). Finally, the attorney for each side makes a closing argument, which is a summary of what happened during the trial. The judge then makes a ruling. Sometimes there are post trial hearings on the judgment. A few types of family law issues may involve a jury. However, custody, child support and equitable distribution are always tried before a judge. If you do not like the decision of the trial judge, you may have a legal right to appeal to a higher court, but this should be carefully evaluated by a lawyer who handles appeals.