In Texas, a trial in a divorce or child custody case will usually occur in what is called a bench trial. In bench trials, the Judge hearing the case will decide all the issues before him/her. The Judge listens to testimony from witnesses, reviews evidence presented in the case, applies the laws relevant to the case, and makes a final ruling. The Court’s ruling will then become a final order.
In Texas, a party can demand a JURY trial in which a JURY, in addition to the Judge, hear the case. The JURY also listens and reviews the evidence and then renders a verdict. It is important to note that a JURY can only render a verdict on some issues in a family law case while all other issues must still be decided by the judge.