Will My Divorce Trial Go Before a Jury in North Carolina

When most people think of divorce trials, they picture a judge, a jury, and perhaps a crowd of people watching. After all, this is what all of us have seen in legal dramas. But do divorce trials really look like that? What does being in a divorce trial feel like? Your attorney can certainly prepare you for this experience if there is no other option but to go to trial. One of the most important parts of a trial is the jury, and you might feel a sense of reassurance knowing that you will be judged by a group of your peers. On the other hand, you might feel anxious about a group of random people having complete control over the outcome of your case. The truth is that jury trials are exceedingly rare for divorce cases in North Carolina. Then again, they do occur from time to time. So, how do you know if your case will go before a jury, and how do you prepare for this potential eventuality?

The answer is simple: Get in touch with a divorce attorney in North Carolina at your earliest convenience. During your consultation with one of our legal professionals, you can discuss any subject that might be on your mind. If you have questions about the nature of a divorce trial, we can answer them. We can also assess the unique aspects of your situation and determine whether a jury trial might be possible. Based on this advice and guidance, you can move forward with confidence. It is best to book your consultation with a qualified attorney as soon as possible for the best results.

Jury Trials are Incredibly Rare for North Carolina Divorce Cases

First of all, it is important to note that jury trials are quite rare for divorce cases in North Carolina. The Tar Heel State is among only a handful of states that allow divorce cases to go before juries. In other states, juries are not allowed to decide these cases. In North Carolina, there is only one specific situation that may result in a jury trial for a divorce, and this involves the issue of marital misconduct for the determination of alimony.

In all other cases, your divorce trial will not go before a jury. These include cases involving child custody, child support, property division, and so on. While some might argue that spouses have a constitutional right to a trial by jury, the truth is that jury trials are the exception rather than the rule in the modern era – at least when it comes to divorce.

Choosing the Jury Members

If you do fall into the minute category of spouses who have divorce trials that go before juries, you will have a say in who is chosen. This is called the “voire dire” process, and it allows you to weed out any jury members who may be biased or compromised for any reason. This at least ensures that your jury will approach your case with a somewhat open mind.

How Do I Get the Jury on My Side?

According to the American Bar Association, there are several strategies you can use to create engaging opening statements that capture the attention of juries. Of course, the opening statement is your lawyer’s responsibility – but it still makes sense to understand how you can “win over” jury members.

  • Tell a Story: Juries tend to respond best to “stories” rather than strings of data and meaningless facts. You need to make sure they can relate to your experiences, and the best way to accomplish this is by telling a story.
  • Organize the Facts: While misrepresenting the facts is never a good idea, you can organize and compile them in a way that makes them easily accessible and convincing. Speak about evidence in a way that encourages jury members to draw their own conclusions – the conclusions that you want them to make.
  • Don’t Hide from the Bad Facts: If there are certain embarrassing or detrimental details that your spouse will raise during the trial, don’t hide from them. Instead, embrace them and address them early to “take the sting” out of your opponent’s jab.
  • Connect with the Jury: It’s always a good idea to connect with the jury as much as possible. Make eye contact, smile, and do not appear as though you are reading from a script.
Enlist the Help of a Qualified Attorney Today

If you have been searching the North Carolina area for an experienced divorce attorney, look no further than Arnold & Smith, PLLC. Over the years, we have helped numerous divorcing spouses in the Tar Heel State, and we know how daunting a trial can feel. With our guidance, you can approach this situation with confidence and efficiency. If a trial is unavoidable, your attorney can help you employ a range of effective strategies as you strive for the best possible results. Remember, internet research can only get you so far. For personalized, targeted legal advice, book your consultation today.