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Understanding a Magistrate Hearing

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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. Some people object to dealing with a magistrate because they fear that they will disagree with the written statement.

There are some important factors of a magistrate that you must understand, though:

  • A judge will only sign off on the document if there are no objections from either party.
  • After the official document is written, both you and your spouse have a chance to read it over.
  • If you find something that you disagree with, you may choose to file an objection.
  • It is important to understand that you only have a limited amount of time to file.
  • Filing an objection will result in your case being brought before a judge.
  • If the judge determines that a change needs to occur, you will proceed to another magistrate hearing.

How The Virga Law Firm, P.A. Could Help You

Magistrate hearings are not ideal for everyone, but some couples can benefit from them. Bringing on a magistrate can speed up the divorce process, particularly if the courts are backed up. Retaining the services of our trusted divorce attorneys in Panama City can help smooth out the divorce process.

The Virga Law Firm, P.A. can work with you, understanding what your individual needs are, and seek the best possible solution for your case. We understand how stressful this time is, and will do our best to represent you and come to an amiable agreement. We would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

For empathetic legal representation, contact us today!

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