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The Divorce Encyclopedia
Case in Chief


Term Definition Case in Chief - the part of trial in which each party, respectively, presents his or her evidence, facts and issues to meet the appropriate burden of proof in the case.
Application in Divorce The case in chief is the meat of the case.

After the plaintiff rests, the defendant presents his or her case in chief.

In uncontested divorce actions, there is no presentation of cases in chief because there is no proof is necessary to provide to the court since both parties agree to what has been presented to the court.

The case in chief is probably the most significant part of any court proceeding and will be the most valuable to the judge for him or her to make a decision.

In trials where the cases in chief are very weak, the judge will often send both sides back to work and reschedule for another trial date. This is done in hopes that each side will work harder to prove his or her side, thus making the judge’s decision more clear, or it will increase the chance of settlement on a case the judge does not feel comfortable making a ruling on.

See also Trial.

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