Often during a divorce case, you and your spouse will attend what is called a "temporary needs hearing". This hearing usually is conducted before a divorce magistrate. A divorce magistrate is a divorce lawyer who has been appointed by the family law Court to hear divorce cases, make findings and recommendations, and submit proposed orders to your regular divorce judge. Magistrates hear cases to ease the caseload on the regular divorce judge or to obtain a sooner hearing. These hearings can be used to establish temporary timesharing, child support, alimony, or attorney fees. It is not used to temporarily divide your property unless there are "exceptional" circumstances. Magistrates cannot heardomestic violence cases. You have the right to object to the magistrate and have your regular divorce judge hear your case. You also have the right to file "exceptions" to the magistrate's rulings if they are "clearly erroneous". Only an experienced Jacksonville divorce lawyer knows when to object to the order of referral to the magistrate and when to file exceptions. This is important so as not to lose momentum, waste time or money, or "use up" all of your "good" evidence before a final divorce hearing. As a Florida Bar Board Certified lawyer in divorce and family law, I have represented hundreds if not thousands of people in these divorce hearings over the close to twenty years that I have practiced in the Jacksonville area. Sometimes a temporary hearing can "make or break" a divorce case. Your divorce lawyer should have the experience to know when to have a hearing and when not to have a hearing as well as what evidence to present and when. A person in a divorce can sometimes end up in a worst position than they were before the hearing because the divorce lawyer did not properly assess whether the hearing was in the divorce client's best interests.
If you have had a temporary divorce needs hearing and you are not pleased with the result, all is not lost. This usually is the first time that you will see your divorce lawyer in action, and if you are not impressed at this hearing, it is not likely that it will get better and this may be the time for you to seek another divorce lawyer. You should remember that a magistrate often will keep the "status quo", or things just the way they are at the time of the temporary hearing, until the final divorce hearing. That usually means that unless there is some signficant concern about someone's parenting, the children usually stay in the home where they are until a timesharing evaluation can be performed and presented at the final hearing. It usually also means that whoever is paying certain bills or expenses will continue to pay those until the final divorce hearing. Child support or alimony amounts usually are higher at temporary hearings than they are in the end of the divorce case. Whether the temporary hearing result will be the same at the final hearing is completely dependent on the facts of your case and on many complicated factors that only an experienced (preferably Board Certified Divorce and Family Law Lawyer) Jacksonville divorce lawyer can tell you.
You should call my office today for your free consultation so that I can give you an honest and experienced opinion about how your divorce case is going and whether or not I think the results should have been different after your temporary divorce hearing. I also have great experience with military members and divorce. I accept cases in Duval, Nassau, Clay, St. Johns, and Baker Counties.