What Is The Difference Between A Judge And Commissioner?

Utah family court can be very complex and difficult to navigate effectively. Divorce, custody, and support matters are assigned to a judge but first heard by a domestic court commissioner. It is important to your case to know the difference.

At Emy A. Cordano, Attorney at Law, our family law attorneys in Salt Lake City can evaluate your case and help you protect your best interests. Schedule a consultation today by clicking here or call us at (801) 901-8159.

What is the Role of a Judge or Commissioner?

Many families wonder if it is better to have a judge preside over their case or a commissioner. Judges and commissioners are assigned different legal duties in Utah and depending on where your case is in the process you will interact primarily with one or the other.

A judge is an attorney that is elected or appointed by the governor to the bench. As laid out by Utah Courts, judges:

  • Hear and rule on domestic issues
  • Issue temporary and permanent orders
  • Enforce or supervise local requirements of parental responsibilities, including:
  • Perform duties with reason and discretion

On the other hand, a commissioner is not appointed or elected. A commissioner is hired by the court to help with the judge’s caseload.

Under law, commissioners:

  • Must be a licensed attorney
  • Will act as a de facto judge
  • Will hear:
    • Temporary Order
    • Motion for the Order to Show Cause
    • Protective Order
    • Temporary Restraining Order
    • Pretrial
  • May have the attorneys step into chambers to discuss the case, make recommendations for settlement
  • Forward Findings and Recommendations to Judge for final approval

In most cases, family and domestic matters are heard by a commissioner until final proceedings or trial. Judges will then rule in all permanent matters. Emy Cordano can advise you further on the roles of the commissioner and judge in your case. Contact us today.

What If I Disagree with the Commissioner’s Recommendations?

While the rate of marriage in Utah has continued to decline since 2002, the divorce rate has grown. In the last reporting year:

  • The rate of marriage was 8.1
  • The rate of divorce has increased to 3.5

Despite the temporary nature of the commissioner’s rulings, they are crucial to your case. A judge is very likely to follow the order that a commissioner put into place.

If you believe the commissioner made a mistake in the ruling of your case, you may file an objection or go to trial. An experienced family law attorney is critical to your case if you disagree with the commissioner’s ruling.

Protect yourself and your best interests by calling Emy Cordano today.

Consult Our Salt Lake City Family Law Attorney Today

The laws that govern family matters, from divorce to child custody, are complex and you should not try to handle it without an attorney because the consequences of getting it wrong are irreversible and extensive. It is crucial to your case to have an experienced family law attorney in Salt Lake City, Utah, by your side. Having skilled representation may mean the difference between achieving your goals or settling for a less-than-fair offer.

Emy Cordano will fight to protect your best interests. Contact us to schedule a consultation today by clicking here or calling (801) 901-8159.

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