When litigating parties cannot agree about finances or parenting issues, a trial is held to put the facts before a judge. Before getting to this stage a pretrial is held to help the parties settle. If no settlement is reached the case is tried. During the trial the Plaintiff puts on his or her case first by calling witnesses. The Defendant is allowed to cross-examine those witnesses. When the Plaintiff has finished putting on his or her case, the Defendant then puts on his or her case through witnesses. The Plaintiff will be allowed to cross-examine those witnesses. Sometime a court will require written legal briefs to be filed at the end of a case. The judge has 120 days to write a decision. Once the decision has been rendered either party can appeal the decision if there is a legal basis to do so. Trials are open to the public.