Fortunately, about 95% of the cases that we handle will resolve short of a trial, but the fact remains sometimes there is a need for a trial, and if that’s the case you can know that our firm has represented countless litigants through the trial process throughout the Twin Cities and Greater Minnesota. But more pressing for folks is the question of, you know, what’s a trial really like?
I can tell you at the onset that it’s not like you see on television, there are no large crowds, there are no gasping audiences that surprise witnesses that plow open a double door. Family court is a more intimate type of process. It is a public proceeding, but understand that there really isn’t much interest in one’s divorce case. Divorce trials are tried to a judge.
There is no jury system in family court and so you can take some comfort in knowing that truly an expert in the area of family law is going to be charged with making the decision in your case.
Trials tend to take about a day or two if there are purely financial issues. In some cases, custody trials can take a couple of days. More often it’s a more three to four-day type process.
The petitioner, the initial party who filed their pleadings, will present their case first, they’ll be subject to cross examination by the other lawyer or the other party if they aren’t represented by a lawyer. And then the respondent, that’s the responding party to the petition, has a chance to present their case.
Typically, no decisions are made by the court in real time. The court has 90 days to issue a written decision following the trial and so usually we hear the result of your matter a couple of months after the trial occurs.
We prepare our clients very well for going to trial. If you’re nervous about testifying, we do a whole host of meetings and in conversations with you to try to put you at ease. And again, we’ve tried cases throughout the Twin Cities and Greater Minnesota. I think we’ve done a very good job in terms of that work and we’re well-qualified to take your matter to trial if necessary.