When you are going through a divorce, you want the most favorable results possible. You want to be compensated for the time you spent cleaning the home and taking care of the kids. You may want joint custody of the children, and you may even want the marital home. Unfortunately, in most cases, a judge will make the final decision as to what happens after your divorce is finalized. Depending on your judge, you may receive some very unfavorable results which may have you wondering if in North Carolina, a jury trial is permitted for divorce. Because this answer can become complicated, it is in your best interest to seek legal advice and representation if you find yourself in this situation. If you or a loved one is going through a divorce, contact an experienced North Carolina divorce attorney to help you with your case.
Can I Get a Jury Trial?
This question is complicated. Though the answer is yes, jury trials for divorces in North Carolina are uncommon. To be completely honest, jury trials are generally the exception to the rule. A jury trial is a trial whereas the decision maker is the jury, usually consisting of twelve people, rather than one judge. Many people seeking a divorce may rather a jury hear their case as there is more than one decision maker and jurors tend to respond based on their emotions which can result in a higher monetary award. Unfortunately, having a jury trial also takes the knowledge of law out of the divorce procedure and can become a costly matter. In North Carolina, the general rule is that jury trials are not allowed in cases that involve: child custody; child support; equitable distribution; alimony; or domestic violence. This is because family law matters are usually occur at a high volume, contains sensitive information, and require time sensitive remedies that a jury trial is not equipped for.
Though a jury trial may not be permitted in the above matters, in North Carolina, a jury trial IS permitted in cases that involve: absolute divorce; divorce from bed and board; annulment; fault in alimony cases; alienation of affection, as well as criminal conversation. However, it is still very rare for any of the permitted jury trial matters to make it before a jury as a settlement usually occurs beforehand.
Need Legal Advice?
Jury trials for divorces in North Carolina are rare, however, not impossible. Though there are certain criteria that may be met before you receive a jury trial, settling a case before it actually goes to trial is the most time efficient and cost efficient way to handle a divorce. Because the entire process can become complicated depending on your assets and if children are involved, it is invaluable to seek legal advice and representation. If you or a loved one is seeking a divorce, contact an experienced North Carolina divorce attorney at The Law Office of Dustin S. McCrary to help you with your case. Contact our office today! We are here to help!