Decision Makers in Utah Divorce Cases

Unlike criminal and civil cases, domestic cases such as divorce, paternity, and child custody cases have two decision makers assigned to each case.  Every such case has a judge, who is the ultimate decision maker, and a commissioner, who makes recommendations to the judge.  Unless a judge overturns a commissioner’s recommendation, the recommendation is the order of the court.

Commissioners in Domestic Cases

If you are ever involved in a divorce or other domestic case you will mainly deal with a commissioner.  The commissioner handles almost every aspect of a family law matter except for the actual trial.  Thus, when you ask for temporary orders, bifurcation, sanctions, etc., you will appear before a commissioner and argue your position.  After reading your written arguments and hearing your oral argument the commissioner will then make recommendations to the judge.

Objections to Commissioners Recommendations

A commissioner’s recommendations are the order of the court unless a party objects to the recommendations.  In order to object to a recommendation you must actually file a written objection with the court.  The judge will then set a hearing date on your objections.  At the objection hearing you typically have an evidentiary hearing, that is, witnesses take the stand and testify under oath.  The judge will consider all admissible evidence to make a decision.  The judge’s decision is the order of the court and can only be overturned by the same judge or an appellate judge.

Experienced Family Law Attorneys

At Salcido Law Firm our family law attorneys are experienced in all aspects of family law and appear before commissioners and judges practically every day.  Contact us if you are facing a Utah divorce or other family law matter and get our vast experience and knowledge behind you. Never go to court alone.  Call us at 801.413.1753 to set up a time to speak to an attorney.