In Family Court, is an Evidentiary Hearing the same as a Trial?

An evidentiary hearing in a family law case is considered a final hearing, which is like a trial. Family law courts use evidentiary hearings to decide matters related to divorce proceedings, such as custodial issues and alimony arrangements.

In an evidentiary hearing, both parties are provided the opportunity to present the facts that support their side of the case. This evidence is supposed to be the same kind of evidence that would be presented at an actual trial, like witness statements, financial records, and deposition testimony. After each side presents their evidence to the judge, the judge then weighs all of the evidence and makes a decision as to the outcome of the case.

Although evidentiary hearings appear similar to trials, they last a much shorter time than is allotted for a full trial. Most family courts only allot a few hours for the entire evidentiary hearing because of how many cases family court judges are responsible for.

With each party only receiving about an hour to present their evidence on such an important issue, it is crucial that an experienced family law attorney is retained to help prepare for the hearing. Evidentiary hearings involve important family issues, like child custody, and it is imperative that you have every advantage an attorney would be able to offer you.

If you have an evidentiary hearing scheduled, you should speak to a family law attorney who is familiar and experienced with evidentiary hearings. Family law attorneys regularly participate in evidentiary hearings and will be able to help you understand the process so that you can clearly present your evidence for the judge who will be deciding your case.

This post was written by David Hurvitz. Follow David on Google+.