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Can I demand a jury trial on a suit involving a child?
Can I demand a jury trial on a suit involving a child?

The right to a jury trial is not without limitations. The Texas Family Code provides limited circumstances in which a child custody battle can be decided by a jury. In suits involving children, a jury can determine the issues of: (1) appointing someone as sole managing conservator, joint managing conservator, possessory conservator; (2) determining which conservator has the right to determine the primary residence of the child; and (3) establishing a geographic restriction on a child.

In suits involving children, a jury MAY NOT: (1) determine whether or not to grant an adoption, (2) determine whether or not to adjudicate parentage; (3) determine whether or not to establish a child support obligation (or the amount of the obligation; (4) specify the term or conditions of possession of or access to a child; and (5) determine any other rights or duties of a conservatory.

Although you have a right to a jury trial, it isn't automatic: a jury trial must be requested by one of the parties. There are several strategic reasons why a jury trial may be better than having the judge determine all of the issues. Often times, a child custody dispute involves some issues that may be determined by a jury and some issues that may not be determined by a jury. In those situation, the final resolution of the lawsuit will be determined partially by the judge and partially by the jury.


Family law can be complicated.

This blog contains some of the most common questions that our family law attorneys receive. Search or click below to learn more about common family law issues regarding divorce, child custody, adoption, and CPS.


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