A bill was just introduced in Illinois which would allow a divorcing party to have a jury serve as fact finder in his or her divorce case.
This represents a sharp departure from the established divorce law practice – except in Texas.
Proponents argue that having a jury ensures that the outcome will be more fair than leaving everything in the hands of a single judge would be.
Opponents argue that juries are inadequately trained to preside over family cases.
The need for juries in divorces is belied by the experience in Texas. With nearly 7,000 divorces statewide in the month of January of 2005, juries were opted for in only 75 cases that entire year.