Be aware that in some Texas counties, “Associate Judges” are allowed to preside over Family Law cases. Generally, when an Associate Judge presides over a temporary or a final Family Law hearing, their order must subsequently be signed by a District Judge. Sadly, we have quite often found that when an opposing party is upset with an Associate Judge’s ruling and is either well-funded (they do not worry about paying their attorney to come back to court) or representing themselves; they may request what is termed a “de novo” hearing. A de novo hearing is a blank slate, a new hearing. This circumstance, unfortunately, harms numerous well-meaning clients who received good results in their initial hearing but may not have the funds to pay their attorney to, in effect, do it all over again. Izzo & Associates always analyze each of our client’s case facts, considering this possible eventuality to determine when and if a Temporary Orders Hearing is actually necessary or advisable.
In addition, our Attorneys always make the sound determination when we file original pleadings in every case, whether we want to include an objection to the appointment of an Associate Judge to preside over a final hearing in said case. Be aware, however, that such an objection will generally not be effective in prohibiting the appointment of an Associate Judge to preside over any Temporary Orders hearings scheduled.