Everyone’s Role in a Divorce Trial

Going to court for a divorce can be very stress-inducing if you are not prepared. Thankfully, having a divorce lawyer on your side is going to let you know everything that will happen during the divorce trial in a court of law. This starts with knowing everyone's role in court so that you know who they are and what to expect.

The Lawyers

Any legal counsel for the divorce will sit at the tables on the opposite side of the divider in the courtroom. You, your spouse, and lawyers are the only people who are allowed to sit in this area, since anyone not directly involved in the case must sit behind the divider. 

The Judge and Associate Judge

You are likely well aware of who the judge is and where they sit, since they are the one that presides over the case and makes sure that everyone follows the law. A judge often is the one who makes decisions in a family law case, rather than a jury. However, you may be assigned an associate judge to hear your case. Know that the ruling of an associate judge is not any different than a regular judge, since they simply take on cases assigned to them. Just be prepared that your divorce case may be heard by an associate.

The Court Reporter

The court reporter's role is to keep a record of everything that was said during the trial so that it entered into the record. They will sit in the courtroom in front of a device that looks like a typewriter, writing down everything that is said. One thing to keep in mind is that family law cases may not have a court reporter unless someone requests for detailed records to be kept of the trial. 

The Clerk and Court Coordinator

Every courtroom will have a clerk that sits near the judge. They are the one who handles all of the paperwork related to the case. Anything submitted during the divorce trial will essentially be handled by the clerk so that it can be entered into the official records of the divorce. In some cases, there may be multiple clerks to take on this responsibility. There will also be a court coordinator to manage the calendar and schedule of the court. They often sit next to the judge as well, so it is possible to confuse them for the clerk.