Judge vs. Commissioner in a Divorce
A lot of clients ask me what the difference between and commissioner and a judge is in a divorce proceeding. The answer is very simple; a judge typically does not see the parties in a divorce until they are at a final proceeding or a trial. Judges have the power and authority to enter orders that are permanent in nature. Commissioners, on the other hand, deal with the parties before the parties present their arguments before a judge. Commissioners hear arguments on different issues and then enter orders that are temporary in nature. Commissioners have power and authority to enter orders but their orders remain in place only until the parties agree otherwise or until a judge enters a different order. However, even though a commissioner’s order is temporary in nature, they can be very important and crucial to a case. If a commissioner issues an order that eventually creates a precedent or a status quo, the judge may very well follow the order that the commissioner put into place. A good attorney is just as prepared arguing a case before the commissioner, as he would be before a judge due to the possibility of the judge eventually following the precedent previously established by the commissioner.