What happens at a family law trial?

3. Give your evidence

Your evidence includes your witnesses, including yourself, and documents. The goes first, then the .

Introduce your evidence

Before you can use a document or other piece of evidence at trial, someone has to identify it by telling the judge who made the document and what it’s about. This can be you, your partner, or another .

These documents can include affidavits, financial statements, letters, photographs, receipts, or reports. If no one objects, the document becomes an exhibit.

Direct examination

You decide the order of your witnesses. When your witness takes the stand, they swear, affirm, or promise to tell the truth.

You examine each of your witnesses by asking questions to get answers that support your case. This is called or .

Questions on direct examination are generally open-ended. This means they don’t tell the witness what to say.

Questions that tell the witness what to say are called leading questions. You cannot ask leading questions on direct examination.

To avoid asking leading questions, ask questions that start with who, what, where, when, why, how, or please describe.

Cross examination

Your partner can then cross-examine your witnesses, asking their own questions. Leading questions are allowed during . The purpose of cross-examination is to test how true and reliable the witness’ answers are.

If you have given evidence in your case, your partner will be allowed to cross-examine you.

Re-examination

You can then your witness to make clear anything that came up during the cross-examination. But, you can’t raise any new issues.

Objections

At any time during the questioning of a witness, you can object to questions being asked or to documents being given to the court. You can only object to something if you can show there is a reason why the judge shouldn’t hear the evidence.

New issues

If the respondent raises a new issue, the applicant can respond by calling more witnesses or recalling witnesses who have already testified. These witnesses can be examined, cross-examined, and re-examined.

Hide this website