What is an Informal Dometic Relations Trial (IDRT)?
In an Informal Domestic Relations Trial (IDRT), you and the other person speak directly to the judge about the issues that are disputed, such as child custody and dividing property or debts. A question and answer format is not used. Only the judge asks questions of each person. This happens even if you or the other person has a lawyer. Usually, other witnesses are not allowed to testify. You can, however, ask the court to let an expert witness testify, such as doctor, counselor, or custody evaluator.
The Rules of Evidence do not apply in an IDRT. This means you can tell the judge everything that you think is important. You also can give the judge any documents or papers you want the judge to review. The judge will decide the importance of what you and the other person say and the papers you each give to the judge. In an Informal Domestic Relations Trial, lawyers are only allowed to:
• say what the issues in the case are,
• respond when the judge asks if there are other areas as the person wants the court to ask about, and
• make short arguments about the law at the end of the case.
The Informal Domestic Relations Trial is a voluntary process. In other words, you decide whether it is something you want to do. An IDRT will be used only if both people involved in the case agree to it. Both people must complete a form that says what type of trial they choose.