Every divorce is different, so how can you know when magistrate’s court is a viable option for your dissolution? The Law Office of Dennis R. Vetrano, Jr., LLC has you covered. Here is what you need to know about magistrate’s court to help you determine if it is a good solution for you.
Magistrates Are Not Judges
Although they wear black robes and understand how to conduct a hearing, magistrates are not judges. Typically, a judge appoints an attorney to act as a magistrate and hear civil cases. Magistrates do have a legal background but are not under the same stressors as a typical judge. Because of this, you and your attorney may find it easier to appeal to the magistrate’s personal views in order to achieve a more beneficial outcome.
If your divorce is heavily contested, or involves high-volume assets, presenting in front of a judge may be more conducive to your needs. Magistrates may or may not have the same experience handling highly contested or large-asset divorces.
Magistrates Can Hear Your Case Sooner Than a Judge
Judges handle hundreds of civil and criminal cases each month. They often overschedule themselves and feel pressure for what little time they have. This could mean waiting months before getting time in front of a judge, and the judge could rush the details of your case in order to process more cases.
A magistrate tends to hear simple civil cases and is able to meet with you much sooner than a judge. Additionally, magistrate’s court tends to occur in private quarters versus a large courtroom, so it is easier to converse and compromise on a dissolution agreement. A magistrate has more time to learn the details of your case before making an official recommendation.
Magistrates’ Decisions Are Not Final Without a Judge’s Approval
Magistrates cannot make decisions on their own. They must send their recommendations to the appropriate judge for final approval. This gives you or your ex-partner the opportunity to object to the report. You can also file an appeal and request a hearing in front of a judge, but doing so starts the entire process over again. The appeal can lead to a different outcome, but it may or may not be preferable over the magistrate’s recommendation.
Don’t Fight Alone – Contact The Law Office of Dennis R. Vetrano, Jr., LLC.
If your case is recommended for magistrate’s court, don’t panic. Our Beacon divorce attorneys can help advocate for you in front of a magistrate, or fight to get your case in front of a judge. We understand that every divorce is different, which is why we take the time to learn the details of your dissolution and help you decide if magistrate’s court is a viable option for you. We have over 50 years of collective experience in family law and are ready to help you. Contact our Beacon legal professionals today for a free consultation.
Discuss your dissolution with our Beacon divorce lawyers today – (845) 605-4330.