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Ancillary Hearing: Any hearing other than the trial. Sometimes called a preliminary hearing.

Bailiff: The person responsible for maintaining decorum in the Court.

Bench: The place where the Judge sits during the trial.

Bench Trial: A trial where the judge determines all fact issues and there is no jury.

Chambers: The Judge office.

Case in Chief: The testimony and evidence offered by one side in support of that side positions.

Clerk: One of the persons who handles the paperwork of the Court.

Closing Statements: Final statements by each attorney at the end of the trial when they argue to the Court the evidence and law.

Court: Often used interchangeably with Judge.

Court Reporter: The person who records the testimony and court proceedings.

Cross-Examination: Questions asked of witnesses called by the opposing attorney.

Decree of Divorce: The final order which is signed by the judge disposing of all issues. Sometimes called the Final Judgement.

Direct Examination: Questions asked of witnesses called by that attorney.

Final Judgment: The final order which is signed by the judge disposing of all issues. Sometimes called the Final Decree of Divorce.

Invoking the Rule: The process of requiring all witnesses after than parties, to leave the courtroom and not discuss their testimony with anyone but the attorneys involved.

Jury Box: The place where the jurors sit during the trial.

Non-Responsive: When referring to the answer to a question, the answer goes beyond the question and the witness has volunteered information.

Objection: Notice to the judge by one attorney that the proceedings are objectionable for some reason and the attorney wants to bring it to the attention of the judge and request a ruling.

Overruled: The judge disagrees with the objecting attorney.

Sustained: The judge agrees with the objecting attorney.

Opening Statement: A brief statement by an attorney of his client position on the issues and applicable law, generally at the beginning of the trial.

Order: A ruling by the Court.

Petitioner: The party who initially brings or files the divorce or an action. Opposite party to the Respondent.

Preliminary Hearing: Any hearing other than the trial. Sometimes called an ancillary hearing.

Rebuttal: Testimony which rebuts or refutes prior testimony.

Recess: A period of time when court is not in session.

Rendition: The pronouncement of the court final ruling, which may be oral or written.

Respondent: The against whom the divorce is initially filed. Opposite party to the Petitioner.

Stipulations: Agreements made between the parties and/or their attorneys which are binding.

Subpoena: A document served on a witness ordering that person to appear at a certain time and place to testify and/or designated documents.

Swearing In: Taking the witness oath to tell the truth.

Trial: The final hearing which decides all issues of the case.

Under Advisement: A period of time after the trial when the Judge considers the testimony, evidence and his notes and makes his final decision about the issues.

Witness Stand: The place from which the witness testifies.

After blowing a huge sum of money on one of the 'best attorneys' in Dallas, but with minimal progress, I found Fathers For Equal Rights and quickly learned that nobody can know or be as passionate about my case, or my son's well-being, as me.
  -- David A. - Dallas, TX

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