If we are entirely honest, even when you have your children’s best interests at heart, and both you and your former spouse are dedicated to keeping matters civil, divorce and, particularly, coming to an agreement about child custody is not a fun pastime. Who could avoid being even slightly upset by the thought of methodically dividing the time you spend with some of the people you love most in the world – your own children?
Providing you and your spouse are on reasonably good terms, and are willing to comply with the conditions associated with the procedure, you may find that an informal trial is a good way to come to the necessary agreements, without all of the stress and turmoil involved in traditional child custody cases. The main purpose of an informal trial in Utah is to allow the parents and the judge to give consideration to matters such as child custody, child support and visitation, without reducing them to simply another aspect of your divorce case, to be discussed alongside various other equally emotive issues.
Before an informal trial can be arranged, both parties must waive their legal right to a regular trial, and apply to the court for permission to hold an informal trial instead.
What is Involved in an Informal Trial in Salt Lake City, Utah?
Before you opt for an informal trial, or make any child custody arrangements, it is strongly advised that you seek legal guidance and support from an experienced and highly knowledgeable Salt Lake City child custody attorney. Your attorney can discuss the specifics of the informal trial option, as well as considering your personal circumstances with a view to ascertaining its suitability.
In brief, when you opt for an informal trial, you and your children’s other parent will each, in turn:
- Speak directly to the judge about your wishes relating to child custody, child support, and visitation
- May be questioned by the court, but cannot be questioned by counsel or the other party
- May present any relevant documentation or evidence
- May identify any other areas of inquiry which, in turn, may or may not be inquired upon you by the court
Once both you and your former spouse have had your chance to complete these steps, you will each be given an opportunity to:
- Respond to the statements made by the other party, as well as any documentation or evidence which may have been presented
- Make any valid legal arguments, based upon statute and case law
The Benefits of an Informal Trial, and Representation from a Salt Lake City Child Custody Attorney
The benefits of an informal trial, as it relates to your case, may vary depending on your personal circumstances but, in general, are considered to include:
- Ease of preparation, when compared to a traditional trial
- Less expensive to prepare for
- Easier to represent yourself, although this is not recommended
- Less time-consuming than a traditional, full trial
- Easier to present evidence and to discuss your case directly with the judge
Whichever means of legally confirming your child custody, visitation and child support arrangements you feel is most suitable for you, it is strongly recommended that you seek legal representation from an esteemed Salt Lake City child custody attorney.