• Stephen Williams

Can Family Law, Child Custody, Divorce or Adoption Trials in Alabama have Juries…?

Updated: 27 minutes ago


Trials in Family Law, Divorce or Child Custody cases are what are called “Bench Trials.” That means the Judge is the only ‘finder of fact’ and enters their orders accordingly. Theoretically, this is to protect the rule of law and prevent a jury of our ‘lay’ peers from giving undue weight or consideration to matters which are technically inadmissible, irrelevant or overly prejudicial… I said theoretically…

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As we’ve said before, Judges are people, too. And, at least in Alabama, they’re publicly elected people, so their values or principles may likely align, strongly or otherwise, with the values or principles of the local community. That may sound good, but just like in broader society, the law, and specifically our United States and Alabama constitutions, protect the rights of marginalized individuals or groups just the same as those whose beliefs or values align with the majority.

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As much as we try to stay “in the word” with the latest technical, substantive and procedural developments in Family Law, Divorce, Child Custody and Adoption, we would be remiss if we didn’t consider the nuanced impact that certain judges’ backgrounds, experience and previous rulings might have on our clients’ cases. Shouldn’t the law apply the same way for everyone? Of course. But does it? Of course not.

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At Foxtrot Family Law, all we do, all day every day, is help our clients stand up for themselves in Family Law, Child Custody, Divorce and Adoption cases. We routinely appear in front of the same Judges litigating a swath of similar issues and continually gain experience with how certain Judges rule in certain situations. Does this Judge rubber stamp whatever DHR wants to do? Does that Judge have a problem with marijuana or only “harder” drugs? Does this Judge favor Mothers in Child Custody like it’s 1955? Or favor Fathers to offset such a stigma?

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What unique questions should you be asking yourself in your case?

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If you would like to learn more about how you, as a Committed Parent or Caring Relative, can put our experience and knowledge of different family law judges to work for you and stand up for yourself and be more effective in your Child Custody, Divorce or Adoption case, please click “book appointment online” on the menu or top right of your screen to schedule your initial consultation at one of our offices.

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This article contains general information and should not be construed as legal advice for you and or your unique situation. ~SW, Foxtrot