Who Will Be The Judge If My Divorce Goes To Trial?
A common question that is asked during divorce cases is ‘who will be the judge if my divorce goes to trial in Connecticut?” Read on to learn how judges are assigned in family court.
Will There Be One Judge in My Divorce?
In some states, a single judge will preside over and decide an entire divorce case. However, Connecticut courts do not generally assign a specific judge to handle a divorce case from start to finish.
If you are involved in a high conflict litigation, you may have multiple visits to the courthouse for motions, hearings, status conferences, and pretrial conferences. So, it is possible you will be in front of a different judge each time.
Is There a Jury in Addition to the Judge?
In Connecticut, we do not have juries in divorce cases. The judge hears the evidence and decides.
It’s not just Connecticut. In the vast majority of states, there is no jury trial in divorces. This has not always been true, though. Not even 50 years ago, many United States divorce trials were still held before a jury.
What About the Judge for My Divorce Trial?
If your divorce ends in a trial rather than a settlement agreement, you will usually not learn your judge will be until the morning of the trial. You cannot choose your trial judge. Assignments are up to the court’s discretion and typically depend on which judge is available that day. Some level of disagreement is likely between divorcing spouses, but most divorces do not wind up high conflict. In addition, many divorces that begin as high conflict transition to low conflict.
The basic differences between mediation, collaboration, and high and low conflict litigation are located here. Or, check out Attorney Meghan Freed’s explanation in our video “How To Choose Your Approach.”
At Freed Marcroft, we practice in all of the approaches to divorce — mediation, collaborative law, and high and low conflict family law litigation — because what is most important to us is finding designing an approach individualized to your, your goals, and your family.