Union County Circuit Court offers two different kinds of trials in family law cases, an Informal Domestic Relations Trial (IDRT) and a traditional trial. The IDRT is a simpler procedure for people without lawyers, although lawyers also may use it. The Court offers IDRT because traditional trials require parties to follow the rules of evidence and the court rules, which can be more difficult for people without lawyers. In IDRTs, the judge asks the questions and the parties can give the judge written statements from witnesses. The judge will decide how much weight to give to the evidence.
In a traditional trial, the parties call witnesses to the stand and ask them questions. Questions must comply with the rules of evidence. Written statements usually are not allowed.
An IDRT will be used only if both people involved in the case agree to it and file the election form.