Understanding a Magistrate Hearing
Dedicated Panama City Family Lawyer
If you have been referred to a magistrate for you divorce case, don't worry. With the right attorney, a magistrate hearing could speed up the divorce process. This page will help in clearing up what will happen at a magistrate hearing.
At times when the Florida court systems gets too many cases at once, a judge can send your case to a magistrate. When this happens you will be issued an Order of Referral, and at that point you typically have 10 days to decide if you want your case handled by a regular judge. In order for a magistrate hearing to commence, all parties have to consent to it.
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How a Divorce Case is Handled with a Magistrate
A magistrate is a designated attorney who can hear your case and give their opinion to the judge. A magistrate cannot make legally binding decisions. Once a judge has the magistrate's written statement, they can then sign the recommendation and make it so that it must be obeyed. A magistrate will examine your case and wade through the evidence. In some particular cases, witnesses may be required to vouch for the character of either party.