Most people undergoing divorce, seeking legal separation, or requesting modifications of child custody, visitation, and support orders want the legal process to be completed within a few months. Unfortunately, this is often unachievable. However, if you live in Iowa’s Seventh Judicial District, your family law case could be resolved in a shorter amount of time thanks to a new pilot program.
This pilot program institutes “a new, informal family law trial procedure.” If both parties agree, they can have their case heard in an informal trial instead of a traditional one.
Differences between Traditional and Informal Trials
- In an informal trial, the judge asks questions directly of you and the other party. You can speak freely to the judge without having to worry about formal rules.
- Lawyers cannot cross-examine you or other witnesses like they can in traditional trials. Instead, they are only allowed to state the case issues, respond to the judge, or make short closing arguments.
- You can submit any document/testimony to the judge for review, and these cannot be objected to by the opposing party.
- An informal trial may shorten the length of the family law case. The Iowa Courts indicated that a traditional trial will usually take between 6-12 months to reach disposition, while an informal trial will usually take between 3-6 months.
If you live in Iowa’s Seventh Judicial District and are interested in learning more about informal trials, contact a Goosmann family law attorney today and feel free to review this online brochure prepared by the Seventh Judicial District.