Divorce Trials: What You Need To Know

Getting a divorce is certainly not a pleasant prospect, but, in some cases, it could be the only option. When you decide that a divorce is the best way to end your marriage, it's important to consider the possibility that unless you and your spouse can reach an agreement on the relevant issues, the case could go to trial. This article explains what you need to know about this legal topic.

Best Option

A key question you need to answer before proceeding to a trial is whether this is your best option. Generally, there are some key advantages to reaching a settlement with your spouse before the process reaches the trial stage. One important factor to consider is how much time you are willing to spend on the matter, as trials typically take much longer than successful settlement talks.

Also, going to trial is almost always more expensive than reaching a settlement. The trial process can be stressful, so you need to consider the amount of stress you are able to handle as well.

Sometimes, however, you may have no reasonable alternative but to proceed to a trial. For example, if you feel strongly about a specific area of disagreement, such as child custody, or the division of marital property, and are unable to reach a settlement on the issue, you will need to make your case before a judge. 

Trial Procedure

When a divorce case goes to trial, you will present your case first if you filed for the divorce. If your spouse filed, then you will present your case after them. When you and your attorney present your side of the case, you will give the court all of the relevant documents that back up your claims, such as documents relating to marital property and child custody

Both your and your spouse will have the opportunity to have supporting witnesses testify. The attorney for each spouse will be able to cross-examine the witnesses. When each side has finished presenting its case, the attorney will make their closing arguments and the judge will render a verdict.


It's possible to appeal an unfavorable divorce verdict but difficult to do so successfully. Your attorney must find an error, or errors, that occurred during the trial to have any chance of overturning the trial judge's decision. Another option is to have the divorce court modify the original decision. To successfully modify a divorce decree, you will need to prove that some change of circumstances would justify the modification.

To learn more about divorces and whether a trial is the best way to proceed in your situation, consult a divorce lawyer such as Gomez May LLP.

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