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Is There a Jury in a Connecticut Divorce?

white square with a gold border and the words is there a jury written in black with the freed marcroft logo in the lower right cornerMany people wonder whether there is a jury at Connecticut divorce trials.

No.  In Connecticut, we do not have jury trials in divorce cases. A judge hears evidence and decides.

Why Did I Think There Was a Jury?

Some movies and television shows about divorce show a jury, so that can be confusing.  But in the vast majority of states and the overwhelming number of divorce cases, there is no jury trial.  This actually marks a major change in United States law. Not even 50 years ago, many divorce trials were still held before a jury.

If There’s No Jury, Will I Know Who the Divorce Judge Is?

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.

It’s important to note that the vast majority of cases do not go to trial.  Even though some amount of disagreement is likely between divorcing spouses, 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.”

If your divorce does wind up going to trial,  you will usually not learn who 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.

Next Steps

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.

If you are wondering whether your divorce will low or high conflict, check out this article for help.

Freed Marcroft deals exclusively in divorce and family law.  To learn more, please contact us here or by phone at 860-560-8160.

Written by Meghan Freed