Did you know you can have a jury trial in your family law case? There are a variety of reasons to consider whether it is a viable alternative, today my goal is just to inform you about the options for when it is a
Sometimes a jury can issue advisory opinions, but not a binding opinion. This happens in a divorce case in the division of property. It can also happen regarding whether to award attorney's fees and costs. Finally in a divorce a jury can issue an advisory opinion about the legal fairness of a premarital agreement. In any of these cases, the judge can take what the jury decides with a proverbial grain of salt and rule how he believes should be the case.
Issues that can be decided by a jury in family law cases include the following: the grounds for the divorce (was adultery committed), the character of the property (sorry, it is community after all), the value of property (the house is worth what you said after all, but the collection of star wars figurines, not worth what you thought). In these issues, what the jury determines is final.
Where children are concerned, juries can decide who is appointed as the sole managing conservator, the joint managing conservator or the possessory conservator. Juries can also can decide which parent or conservator can determine the residence of the child, if that residence should be limited to a certain geographic area and if so what that area should be.
Finally, there are some things juries cannot ever decide. Among those items are: issues related to parentage (however, this does not mean termination of a parent-child relationship which is routinely decided by a jury), child support questions, spousal support, specific terms of access to children, and other rights and duties outside of residence.