Texas is unique in that, in a divorce or custody trial, either party can request that a jury decide issues of:
Lawyers often advise litigants to be wary before making a jury demand. Many attorneys feel that jury trials are difficult and excessively complicated. We do not find this to be the case. Yes, a jury trial does have a few more steps and involves trying the case to twelve people (six in county court) rather than a single judge. However, once you’ve done a few, there is nothing complicated about them.
Most counties, like Travis County, require specific pre-jury-trial procedures. Others, like Fort Bend County, have no specific rules on pretrial procedures. And some, like Harris County, have similar pretrial procedures for both jury and bench trials.
A jury trial proceeds in the same manner as a bench trial with few differences.
After the jury verdict, the judge will either rule or receive additional information on issues that are to be decided by the judge. For example, a judge decides possession and access to the parties’ children. Once a verdict is reached by the jury, the judge will then make other orders regarding the children. If it is a divorce trial, the judge will divide property using the jury’s verdict on any property issues.
At the conclusion of the trial, the judge will often ask the jurors if they wish to stay and speak to the lawyers. We find that many jurors do this. We’re always surprised by how much information the jurors are able to retain and process. We’re also always surprised how thoughtful and engaged the jurors are. This is truly is a testament to our democracy and judicial system. Once the trial is over and the judge has ruled on non-jury issues, the lawyers will draft a final order. If there are disagreements about the form of the order, the judge will resolve the disagreements. Once the final order has been prepared, the judge will sign the order at which point it becomes final. At that time, post-trial deadlines begin to run, but that’s a topic for another day!
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Brian and his staff were great. Brian’s direction and expertise provided me with the legal information relevant for my needs over several years now. He listens and is steadfast which gave me comfort in the courses of action. I highly recommend him.Brian and his staff were great. Brian’s direction and expertise provided me with the legal information...
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